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It's nearly a year since my Gastvater died - what can I send his widow as a mark of respect? I was thinking of an engraved pebble with the phrase gone but never forgotten or German equivalent. I'd really appreciate some guidance - his widow is 83 and I really don't want to get it wrong! Thank you

I've now found the edit button (typical) so repeat my comment below: I'd like to make it very clear I have NOT waited a year to respond and sent my heartfelt condolences immediately. So I'll phrase the question differently - It's coming up to the anniversary of his death and I want to send something as a mark of respect and would like to know an appropriate phrase for engraving on a pebble as his widow does not speak English. Immer in unserer Erinnerung is the best idea so far but i don't know if that could be misconstrued (like my message!). So please, less jumping to conclusions and some help with my original, sincere request?

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    One year has been a while … You certainly had to excuse yourself first. It has to be something personal. I would sent a photo of me, the person addressed and the person faded away, smiling. If I had such a photo. I would write a letter of one page, by hand, and use good paper and a nice envelope. – Janka Jan 17 at 22:02
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about German culture and not the language – PiedPiper Jan 17 at 22:32
  • @PiedPiper: Well, the OP is primarily asking for a phrasing, but the question will (unbeknownst to the OP?) solicit responses related to customs in general rather than language. – O. R. Mapper Jan 18 at 1:04
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    Welcome to German Language SE. I will put your question on hold for now. If you have a question about the appropriateness of a given German phrase, please edit your question to include the respective phrase. If you want to ask about the appropriateness of a certain kind of gift or gesture, this may be a question for Interpersonal Skills (tagged with [etiquette]). Either way, you may get better answers if you add more details (e.g., what is your frequency of contact with your friends; why did you not react earlier, …?). – Wrzlprmft Jan 18 at 9:32
  • @O.R.Mapper If it's primarily a translation request it's still off-topic – PiedPiper Jan 18 at 10:21
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To be honest: you are late. Something like that should be done in the first few days/weeks.

Sure, catholic church has a "Seelenamt" 6 weeks/1 year after someone died, but that's something completely different.

You have to consider what your letter and your present will cause. She could be thankful or you will make her cry or worse. Or something in between.

But let's say you really want to write something or engrave a pebble: I like

Lassen | Zulassen | Loslassen (let | allow | let go)

Das Leben endet, die Liebe nicht ( Life ends, love does not)

Die Erinnerung ist ein Fenster, durch das ich Dich sehen kann, wann immer ich will.

source

For these and other "mourning" quotes/aphorism I recommend this website.

  • +1 for saying he is too late. Not really a German language question, though. – Rudy Velthuis Jan 18 at 10:02
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    But, is it ever too late to show someone you care? The reasons you may have not done it sooner can be of any kind. There have been times of grief in my life where I failed to meet my own expectations in social interactions (especially with an ex-girlfriend) whom I've texted a year or 2 later, telling them I'm sorry - and they've even answered saying the same. I know dying and splitting up are not the same, but they're heavily related to everyday life and the innermost feelings of any human- Tl;dr: I don't think doing something good and thoughtful has a date of expiry. – philerr Jan 18 at 10:07
  • @philerr you maybe right. We will never know the reasons. I omitted the "very". – mtwde Jan 18 at 11:03
  • @mtwde those were just my two cents not a paradigm - after all people always think different I suppose! :) +1'd, since you gave him good options for the engravement imo – philerr Jan 18 at 11:13
  • Can't find the option to edit so have to add a comment. I have NOT waited a year to respond and sent my heartfelt condolences immediately. I'll phrase the question differently - It's coming up to the anniversary of his death and I want to send something as a mark of respect and would like to know an appropriate phrase for engraving on a pebble as his widow does not speak English. Immer in unserer Erinnerung is the best idea so far but i don't know if that could be misconstrued (like my message!). So please, less jumping to conclusions and some help with the original, sincere request? – Andi Jan 18 at 21:31

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