My father recently passed away and the grief afterwards, and still, is more challenging than I was expecting. My father and I had a very difficult relationship for most of my life. He was a horrible father when I was in grade school. He was abusive and eventually left for about a decade during my late teens and early twenties. He missed so many big moments in my life when he was gone but even if he was still around I’m not sure he would have experienced these moments with me. My dad and I had reconnected over the last four years of his life. Things were good, although I still never let my guard down with him. I mostly small talked with him, talking about the weather and sports. Needless to say, since he passed I have had a big bag of mixed emotions to deal with.
Insert wonderful friends here--even friends I haven’t spoken to in some time have reached out to me on Facebook and through text messages. Each and every one of these messages has helped me through this strange time, even making me smile and laugh when I didn’t think I wanted to.
The handwritten sympathy cards I have received over the past few weeks have been the most impactful. Each one has been unexpected and filled with love and comfort. Receiving a personal and surprising note in the mail puts a smile on my face and each time I am thrilled to see the name on the return address. On the inside, the kind, sincere words written in smooth cursive act like a gentle hug that makes me feel less alone and more hopeful about the coming weeks and months.
Reaching out to a friend in need is beneficial and meaningful no matter what method you choose. However, for me a personalized note is rare to receive these days, which makes it all the more meaningful. Next time you are at the store, I encourage you to visit the greeting card section and pick out a couple of cards to have on hand next time you are thinking of a friend or hear that a friend has lost someone close to them. I can assure you, it will mean a whole lot to them.