My mother recently passed away. Her departure to be with the Lord was the end of a long good-bye that started nine years ago when her memory began to fade because of Alzheimer’s. Even though we prayed she would not linger in her suffering, there is never a way to fully prepare for loss.
It was good and hard to be reminded once again, through experience, the assorted feelings and even the physical numbness that accompanies loss. It was also helpful to be on the receiving end of a powerful gesture.
Immediately, cards began to fill my mailbox. Real, physical cards!
For many, a hand-written note or greeting card is a lost art. It might have been years since you owned a book of stamps! But let me encourage you not to discount the comfort that comes tucked inside a simple card.
The art of sending a card
1. Keep a stack of cards on hand to be ready to send comfort (the dollar store is the best place to buy reasonably priced cards)!
2. Write out a heartfelt message or borrow words from others: When I heard the news of your loss, I couldn’t help but reflect on the impact she/he made on my life (share the story) OR Psalm 23 has always been of comfort to me or this poem about the gift of a mother reminded me of yours.
3. State the obvious: There are no words to express my sorrow over your great loss, but I wanted to let you know how sorry I am for the pain of missing [Name].
4. Let them know you will be praying for them – and then make sure you pray!
5. Mail the card! It’s an inexpensive yet valuable way to show love that might start the healing process.
7 ways cards can be a gift of healing:
1. They bring continuous comfort as the card can be read over and over again.
2. Your hurting friend can read the card when it is convenient or when needed the most.
3. Cards provide a quiet peace. They not only show that the person cared enough to take the time to write a card but the message itself is deeply meaningful.
4. They deliver the gift of presence from a distance.
5. They provide the opportunity to share treasured memories, highlighting the impact of their loved one.
6. Cards can start to activate the healing process.
7. They remind the widow or person facing the loss that they are not alone.