There is nothing like a handwritten card to tell someone you are thinking about them. In a world of emails, apps and text messages, the very act of choosing a card, putting pen to paper and taking a trip to the post box is enough to let them know that they are in your thoughts.
A simple card can convey so much, from choosing the perfect image that reflects your relationship, to the words you write inside. A handwritten greeting packs a massive punch in the thoughtfulness stakes compared to the relatively small effort it takes.
If you need a timely reminder to put pen to paper then Send a Card to a Friend Day, which falls on 7th February, can be just that. But really any time is the right time to rifle through your address book and remind old friends that they are in your thoughts.
If someone has suffered a bereavement, a card will be even more appreciated. Not just in the days and weeks after the funeral, but months and years down the line. Remembering an anniversary or birthday will be noticed and treasured, and tucked away as an act of kindness in the arc of your friendship.
Photo: Freddy Castro
It is not just the receiver who benefits from that handwritten envelope landing on their doormat. The sender themselves reaps their own rewards. The act of writing your thoughts and memories down can be both creative and cathartic. It allows you to express how you feel without shyness or embarrassment. It will strengthen your friendship which, researchers say, can actually lead to a longer and happier life.
The benefits of writing are huge, especially in the darker days following a bereavement. Whether you bash out an angry stream of consciousness or carefully chronicle your changing thoughts and emotions over time, getting it all out on paper can help deal with difficult feelings.
Some choose to do this in a more formal way through a grief journal, which helps them untangle their thoughts, remember their loved one, and work out the way forward without them by their side. According to the bereavement charity Cruse, it can help you make sense of your emotions and give you something to look back on to see how far you’ve come.
It is no accident that in the times after a death, there are many opportunities to write. This might be recording thoughts in a card, a memory book or even penning a eulogy. Writing won’t take the pain away, but it can help when your mind is a whirl of jumbled thoughts.
Photo: Diana Stainton
And if there is a friend who comes to mind as you’re reading this, why not pick up your pen and drop them a note? Just to let them know they are in your thoughts.
All of our sympathy gifts can be sent with a handwritten card with your own gift message. Simply let us know what you'd like to say and we'll do the rest.