Six years ago I sat at my desk, sorting through papers when I saw the name of a friend at the top of my list. My friend had surgery and she’s been undergoing chemotherapy for the past two months. I periodically sent a card or called just to say hello but, I realized that morning that it had been a few weeks since I had checked in.
I made the phone call and had a nice chat. I learned that my friend was very uncomfortable and really just whiling away the days with little energy to pursue her normal routine. That’s where the cards and calls helped. She mentioned she gets a card now and then and she appreciates that someone has taken the time to let her know they’re thinking of her. I told myself to stop feeling guilty and made a plan to send a card the next week.
Cards and notes are easy to send and you don’t have to worry about disturbing someone as you may do with a phone call. Emails are great for keeping in touch but, there is something special about receiving a card or note in the mail.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about what to say in a note. A simple “I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you” goes a long way and will make someone feel cared for. You can add “Book club or bridge is not the same without you” or “I miss crossing paths on my morning walk and look forward to seeing you soon.”
My friend got better, or so I thought, and I stopped following up. She died one year ago. I miss seeing her and wish I could give her a call or send her a note. So make your call or send a note; your thoughtfulness will go a long way in brightening 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, available in ebooks for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "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.