In the many losses I’ve experienced in my own life, “you are not alone,” is the most important thing I wanted to hear. No promises of what the future may hold or how time will heal something, no silver linings. Just an empathetic reminder that I’m not alone no matter what happens.

I came up with the idea for the “You are not alone box” about 7 years ago when I was in the midst of a prolonged period of loss and grief. It wasn’t a season of life where I could move forward on a new business endeavor, but I held on to that kernel of an idea, and slowly started the process to research what it would take to start a little company to send meaningful gift boxes.

I wanted to make it easier for people to communicate tenderly and meaningfully to someone they love going through a hard time. And I wanted to encourage people who are grieving or going through any sort of disappointment or challenging circumstance to slow down and make space to honor that process.

That’s why the gift box has a journal, candle, and special herbal tea. These are things that when combined can create a special space for reflection and self-care.

I hope that these gift boxes will help the people receiving them to remember they are loved and not alone during whatever challenge or loss they face. I hope it will help them to make space in their life to reflect, process, and sit with their grief. And I hope that they are able to deepen friendships when someone sends the box to say, “I see you and the hard things you’re going through. I acknowledge it’s rough and I’m here for you.”

I remember when my dad died when I was 10 and we received many well-intentions bereavement bouquets. I’ll never forget watching the flowers wilt and wither in the dining room over the following weeks. The “You are not alone box” is a modern bereavement gift alternative, when flowers are not the right fit.

I have lots of ideas for more customized boxes for different types of loss with different nuances, so sign up for my newsletter if you’re interested in knowing when they are available. For the time being, I’m just excited to be able to offer a way for people to connect and communicate love during the hard seasons of life.

Big love,

Crystal Ellefsen