Monday, 20 July 2015

A sympathetic view

While I was away, I learned something about letter writing...something I hadn't considered before. Letters of condolence matter more than we realize. Whether you are writing them or receiving them the weight of their impact is massive. I think we all struggle to find a card that is special and says something that resonates with the person you are choosing it for. Up until now, I had always been on the sending end of a sympathy expression. I repeatedly struggled to say something that would make a difference. At times I felt inadequate to the task, but once I began receiving cards and letters with sentiments aimed to comfort after the loss of my father my view changed dramatically. I felt cared for and consoled with each note that arrived. A letter from Dear Mrs. Duffy touched me very deeply, others were like balm for my soul. But the love didn't stop there, Limner, my hero, wrote, and wrote. She sent little gifts and words of inspiration. Even when I was too overcome to write anything in return still she wrote and I shall be forever grateful for her unerring kindness. Each and every piece of mail I received from her gave reassurance in knowing that I was not alone and that mattered so much to me.

Losing a parent is never an easy thing but having friends who rally around you and give of themselves, is heartwarming and gives such comfort to someone who is grieving. Grief is a sad thing and not too many want to dwell upon it but I wanted to write this so that others would know how very appreciated their words of sympathy are, even when you feel helpless to do anything to take the pain away. These cards and letters matter more than you can ever know and I thank all my dear friends for extending their hands and hearts in friendship to me when my world was falling apart.

4 comments:

  1. Oh, Anna. You're my friend and I felt so sad for you. You've told me how you feel about your dad, so how could I not try to reach out? I'm not good at grief and condolence etiquette. I never want to be intrusive, but I don't want to stay away either. Thanks for letting me know that my presence was just enough.

    I hope your grief eases at "your" pace. I'm always here.

    Be well.

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    1. Limner, every letter, every thought from you is gold to me. I know you aren't good at grief and condolence, and that is why it meant so much more to me.

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  2. Hugs, Anna. I wish I could do more than write a letter...bring dinner or something...but as the Atlantic and the breadth of a continent divide us I'm glad for the USPS and Royal Mail. I'll write again soon.

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    1. Sonja, you are a diamond of the first water as they used to say. Thank you for your friendship.

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