Years ago, it was easy to feel socially connected. You knew your neighbors and all the tradespeople. When you did your errands, people knew who you were and probably knew your family. When things got tough, word spread that someone in the community was sick, hospitalized, or died. When you moved throughout your day, people had an inkling of what was going on and asked about you and your family. Maybe someone mowed your lawn or shoveled your snow; casseroles appeared and you and your loved ones felt comforted.
Nowadays, many of us live in isolation with our iPhones, iPads, computers, and electronics. We communicate by text message, Facebook, and email. Even phone calls can seem obsolete. And real mail? Who writes notes and sends cards anymore?
So what happens in 2012 when you or a loved one is sick, hospitalized, in treatment, or bereaved? Reader feedback tells me that the latest technology is not always comforting. What folks really need is old fashioned support. And it can be as simple as a greeting card.
While I’m an advocate of writing personal notes, if you just don’t have the time to write one, a card will do. I’m not a spokesperson for any greeting card company, but I’m surprised at the big impact a greeting card can have. As a volunteer for a local organization, we decided to reach out to sick and bereaved members with greeting cards. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Every response we received communicated how touched the member was to be remembered; it made them feel cared for and the greeting card went a long way in helping them feel they were not alone.
Greeting cards are easy. Purchase a variety of thinking of you, get well soon, and sympathy cards. You can buy your stamps at a variety of places, like the grocery store, avoiding a special trip to the post office. If you are prepared, you will be more likely to pen a quick message and send a card. Wouldn’t you like to be the person that makes a difference in someone’s day?
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store. Click here to order.
Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons/trec_lit