Thursday, July 30, 2009

on sympathy

I need to buy a sympathy card. A good friend's father passed away suddenly last week. I called and spoke to her as soon as I heard, and we've been emailing, of course, but I'd like to send her a card too, to let her know that I am thinking about her.

I went to find a card and couldn't find one that seemed appropriate for her. Maybe it is just me, but it seemed as though the sympathy cards are very religious lately. Now I have no problem at all with anyone's choice of religion, but there are some people, like my friend, who are not particularly religious and I don't want to buy her a card with words from the Corinthians or the Romans or any Psalms. I don't think that those words would comfort her. In some cases, I do buy those cards, because I know that it is appropriate, but in this case, it's not.

It just seemed a bit surprising to me that the good majority of sympathy cards evoked religious words and images. Has anyone else noticed this? What sort of cards do you look to send in such a situation? My friend just lost her father and I can't even imagine what she is going through right now, but I want her to know that even though I am several thousand miles away, she's in my thoughts (and prayers).

8 comments:

Jess said...

I had that problem too, when our neighbors' baby died. There wasn't much of a selection and most of the cards were religious. I did find one that was lovely and simple and just said something about how our thoughts were with them during this difficult time. And then I wrote a personal message inside it.

Good luck!

notsojenny said...

hmm, odd. i've never noticed that. our hallmark actually has little markers in the sympathy section that say "Sympathy- Religious" and we have quite a few options that aren't religious at all.
but moreover i'd just go with a blank one. a sympathy card is nice, and soothing, but really your words will mean more than anything written by a stranger in a cubicle.
even if it's something short and sweet just telling her you're thinking about her and you're there for her.
the sentiment alone will mean the world... when you lose someone like that just being reminded that you have other people there for you is priceless

Ohmygoshi said...

I'd probably go with a blank one as well. That way you're free to write as much, or as little, as you want.

Christy said...

You could get a blank card and then write a sympathetic note in it...that's what I've done in the past. So sorry for her loss.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

i'm so sorry for your friend...I think jess is right, writing a personal message is the best way.

Ashley said...

I think it's a very nice gesture to send your friend a card. Since you don't want one that super religious, and you can't find a simpler one, I would go with a blank card and write your own message inside. I know when I lost my dad it was the hand written messages inside that meant the most to me. Something heartfelt and genuine will be perfect. Hope that helps!

Michelle said...

A blank card would work fine. When I lost my dad, I got many cards (lots were repeats) and what I remember is the thought- and feeling loved and remembered. It was two years ago, and I still have every one of those cards. Your friend is lucky to have people who care enough to worry about getting "just the right card". I mean that. You can't make this better, but you can be there and be supportive. That will mean everything!

La Petite Belle said...

you could just pick a pretty non-sympathy card and write a note OF sympathy. I hate having to pick from a specific category because like you said, sometimes they don't really feel like they would be right for that person. congrats on the header, it is gorgeous.