Want to send a greeting to encourage a sick friend when an ordinary get well card just won't do?
|The sun sets for everyone someday.|
When you know someone is in constant pain with a chronic or terminal illness for which there is no known cure, a regular get well card just isn't appropriate. In spite of your good intentions, receiving a typical get well message might just remind your friend she probably won't ever get well. What is needed is an inspirational card designed especially for those who probably won't be in good health again, and who, in fact, may be coming to grips with not having much longer to live.
Those chronically or terminally ill need lots of encouragement.
I encouraged my own mom to move close to me when I knew she was approaching her last years. She was still healthy for the first few years she was near me, but she did miss her old friends "at home," and found it difficult in my community to make new friends that were as close as the people she had known for over 50 years. As long as she was able to drive, she did pretty well finding some friends at church and clubs. She also did some volunteer work. But in the last three years, she began to have trouble remembering her commitments and appointments, and she had to stop those activities. Her friends and her sister back home preceded her in death, and the notes and letters that kept her "connected" stopped coming. Then her health began to fail until she finally was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 89 and given only two more months to live. You can read about our relationship during those last years here.
Snail Mail Is Encouragement that Lasts a Long Time
|Forgotten Mailbox in Oak Tree|
But the elderly and the lonely who may not understand the new technology or be able to sit for hours at a computer, or maybe sit very long anywhere, can receive a real boost in morale when they get a real written communication from a friend or family member in the mail. These people are often so lonely that even their junk mail gets read.
When I was a used book seller, the children who cleaned up their parents' estates often used to call me to look over the book collections that were left behind. I remember one house where there were all sorts of books -- even duplicates, still in the shrink wrap they were delivered in. When I asked about that, I was told that the owner had been a shut-in and had ordered all kinds of stuff mail order just to have someone come to the door. These are the kind of people who look forward to the mail as a possibility of being the high point of the day. How disappointing when it's only junk mail and bills.
Older People Especially Appreciate Encouragement Via Snail Mail
Many people think it's silly to send someone snail mail when email is so much faster. But even when a person is young, a real card with a personal message from a close friend or other loved one can be treasured. The elderly and housebound treasure them even more. My mom had stacks of cards in her closet people had sent her. I found them when she died. I know that every now and then she would look through them and remember those who had cared enough to send them. She also sent a lot of them herself to those she loved.
Emails and text messages by their very nature are not permanent. Paper cards can usually last as long as the recipient wants them to. They can be stored and pulled out when loneliness is overwhelming or when one is feeling so sick or depressed one feels like giving up. They can be read again and again -- even after the sender is gone. They can bring back memories of happier times spent with the people who sent them. They are well worth the money. A beautiful blank note with your personal message of encouragement, or an extra sentence or two when you sign your card cannot only make someone's day, but maybe will also give a lift to many other days.
Those who are sick and shut in often wonder if out of sight means they are out of their loved ones' minds. Sometimes a card with beautiful picture and just the message that you are thinking of them will let them know they are not forgotten and that they still matter to someone. They might keep such a card where they will see it often.
Above is one such card. Be sure and write something personal at the end in your own handwriting. That is often the part that shows you really care. Here are more "thinking of you" card designs.
An Inspirational Greeting Lets People Know You Are Thinking of Them Even if they Feel Alone and Forgotten
One thing I've learned from visiting or caring for those who are sick and who rarely see anyone is that they often feel useless -- as though they no longer matter to anyone. How will the recipient of this card feel if you write a personal note saying how much he or she has meant to you and why. Think far back. I once wrote a letter to the mother of an old high school friend for no reason other than to thank her for her frequent hospitality when I was younger and how much it meant to many of us in our crowd. By then she was elderly and her nest was empty. I got a wonderful letter back saying how much my letter had meant to her.
The Terminally Ill Might Appreciate a Well-Chosen Easter Greeting
What could be more encouraging than the promise of resurrection? I will admit that Easter is my very favorite holiday. If Christmas presents us with a babe in the manger, Easter brings us a victorious Lord who has conquered death. It brings hope to every Christian with its promise of eternal life.
Here are some other encouraging greeting cards
You should be able to find just the right message among these. For some people, you might want to simply let them know they are in your thoughts. For people of faith, you might get a card with a Bible verse or verse of a hymn you know they love to remind them of God's love and presence in the midst of their pain or their fears.
The terminally ill aren't fooled by cards encouraging them to get well soon. They know what's ahead, and sometimes they wish others would acknowledge the battle they are fighting -- wanting to live, but facing the fact they may not live much longer. When others seem to expect them to not mention this or to act as though they are going to get better, they feel they don't have "permission" to talk about the fears they may be facing. It's a gift to let them know you are aware of the emotions they may be feeling and you're not afraid to listen if they speak their hearts.
I have done this with my mom and two special friends who were getting close to the end of their battles with cancer. None were offended by this. To my best friend, I sent flowers a few weeks before she actually died with a note that I wanted her to be able to enjoy them here. Her husband told me how much that meant to her. Here's a good way to send flowers to those who don't live near you. Click card image to check price of card or purchase.
Using the Blank Note Card Effectively: What to Say
A Final Suggestion
I have been a fan of greeting cards all my adult life. I have read them, sent them, bought them for stores and even managed a Hallmark store. Read all about My Life in Greeting Cards.
How will you encourage terminally ill friends?
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