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Old 05-25-2016, 08:07 PM
 
3,967 posts, read 5,260,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
Just last week, my lifelong friend's father passed away. He/they live three time zones away. I contacted my friend and his wife and offered to help in any way I could, including financially. My GF immediately purchased a Sympathy card. Before asking me to write something on the card, she asked if it was even a good idea to send one. Knowing my friend as well as I do, I thanked her for the intention and told her it would be best to not send a card.


Sending a card to my friend would be akin to reaffirming the painful passing of his beloved father. In this case, a call and text offering any and all possible help is better than a card. Sending a card may place the receiver in the awkward position of feeling obligated to respond to the sender which may resurface the pain of the passing.
Receiving a sympathy card really does not "reaffirm the painful passing," in my opinion. These folks haven't forgotten that they lost someone they love. They know this every waking moment. We should not fear "resurfacing" anything. A card is not a reminder of the death, only a reminder that you care. Of course, you should do whatever you feel is right in your individual situation, but I think it is potentially harmful to have an attitude that if you never again mention the person who died, the pain will go away. Many times such silence has the opposite effect.

At the same time, I think it is totally unnecessary and strange to send a thank you note to someone for having sent you a sympathy card. I once got a thank you note after sending a card to a distant relative after her mom died. I was, frankly, confused by her urge to sent me a thank you. I received many cards when my husband died, and I did not send any thank you notes for these. I even asked a few friends if I was committing a faux pas by not sending thank yous, and everyone said no, that was completely unnecessary. When a person sends a sympathy card, they are not obligating the mourner to do anything else, just telling them that they are in anothers' thoughts. I know that different communities have different customs, but in my opinion, your feeling that sending a sympathy card somehow obligates the mourners is just inaccurate.
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:36 PM
 
2,566 posts, read 3,090,659 times
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I'm trying to understand the sentiments of all who disagree with my position about not sending a sympathy card. Again, knowing my friend as well as I do, it would be impractical and possibly hurtful to send him one. I'd feel the same exact way. This, of course, does not apply to every person I know.

In this occasion, what truly matters is to verbally affirm my willingness to shoulder the financial obligation he will confront, and to let him know I am here for him as needed.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,237 posts, read 23,808,631 times
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In this day and age, everything is done by some sort of computer. Im old skool, id probably send a sympathy card.
but it is what it is.

the newer generation are not like us old timers with death and stuff.

because of my ethnicity, when there is a death i wear black for 40 days.
parents and spouse is a year of black.
thats the way we were raised, and i follow the customs.
my sons dont however, but thats thier choice....
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Old 05-26-2016, 02:23 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,679,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hautemomma View Post
Sympathy cards do still matter. Unfortunately, it appears that all too few people realize this. Social media messages and verbal words of condolence are appreciated, but as someone earlier posted, having something to hold on to - something tangible - is significant.
Yes, they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
Just last week, my lifelong friend's father passed away. He/they live three time zones away. I contacted my friend and his wife and offered to help in any way I could, including financially. My GF immediately purchased a Sympathy card. Before asking me to write something on the card, she asked if it was even a good idea to send one. Knowing my friend as well as I do, I thanked her for the intention and told her it would be best to not send a card.


Sending a card to my friend would be akin to reaffirming the painful passing of his beloved father. In this case, a call and text offering any and all possible help is better than a card. Sending a card may place the receiver in the awkward position of feeling obligated to respond to the sender which may resurface the pain of the passing.

Ridiculous comments. The family knows the loved one passed. As I said earlier I held on to the many cards and look at the from time to time, they give me comfort.

Nothing to reaffirm.

I recieved a card from a surgeon that performed a minor operation on my dad a few years before he passed. My dad had the ability to make people laugh, this very busy man took the time to send me a letter(yes a letter not a text) saying how he found months later my father had died. I was moved to tears, and called the office which is was in FL(I'm in CA) and told the office manager how much it meant and please relay that to the doctor.

They matter.
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:59 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,272,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwalker2 View Post
My Mom died recently. I notified all my friends via Email, and then went through her address book notifying her friends and our relatives by handwritten note. Most of the Email people replied via Email that they were sorry to hear it. One said I was lucky to have had my Mom so long when hers had died younger, which seemed kind of snarky. Out of all the notifications, I got only one sympathy card. And only one person who asked who to donate to in her name. None of the people I notified by mail, which took a long time to do, even acknowledged I had sent the notice. I had mailed cards to many of these people when their parents died.

So I'm wondering if sending sympathy cards, or acknowledging someone's death, is no longer done? I still send cards and/or call. What experiences have others had?
First, I am so sorry for your loss. The death of a parent is always hard to bear, regardless of age. For not only do we lose someone who has been with us the length of our days, but it also separates us in a way from our past.

As far as the snarky note is concerned, please don't take it that way. I'm sure it was heartfelt, even if awkward. People often don't know what to say at these times.

Personally, I believe in writing notes. To me, it carries out the duty of comforting much more fully than simply signing my name to something found on a shelf at Walgreen's.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:09 PM
 
3,967 posts, read 5,260,111 times
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I agree that the idea that sending a sympathy card could be hurtful is certainly curious. To me, that kind of belief could only be held by someone who doesn't understand grieving and loss. The only time I can conceive of a sympathy card being hurtful is if the sender has written something hurtful, if the card was purposefully chosen to be inappropriate in the situation, or if there had been a very negative relationship before the death and the card is inconsistent with that. But I am willing to concede that I don't know the belief systems of everybody and some people may have other customs. So I'm not going to condemn it. Each person has to live in their own world.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,091 posts, read 5,515,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
I'm trying to understand the sentiments of all who disagree with my position about not sending a sympathy card. Again, knowing my friend as well as I do, it would be impractical and possibly hurtful to send him one. I'd feel the same exact way. This, of course, does not apply to every person I know.

In this occasion, what truly matters is to verbally affirm my willingness to shoulder the financial obligation he will confront, and to let him know I am here for him as needed.
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Your GF wanted to send a card and you told her not to because it would remind your friend that his father had died??? Dear Lord. What on earth could be hurtful about receiving a beautiful expression of sympathy for the loss of a loved one?

I appreciated every single card I got when my Mom died and I've saved every one. I send sympathy cards all the time and always include a handwritten note, many times with a happy memory of the person who has died. I have a stack of "generic" sympathy cards, but usually when someone dies, I always feel the urge to go buy one specifically for that person's situation. I used to think the cards with sappy sayings were, well, sappy, but I remember how comforting they were to my Mom when her new husband of four months died during heart surgery. We read every single sappy poem.

Chacho Keva, you remind me of a co-worker I once had....one of the executives in our office lost her baby in utero when it was almost full-term....she was older and it was her first child....such a shocking tragedy. I had been out of town when she came back to work so when I came back to the office, I asked a co-worker if I should stop in and say something.....I didn't know the executive very well and she wasn't a real warm-and-fuzzy person to begin with.....anyway, the co-worker said no, everybody's already past that...so I didn't say anything. I've always regretted that. I appreciated every single person who told me they were sorry about my Mom, and some of those were months after the fact.

Anyway, Windwalker, I am very sorry for your loss.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:46 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,679,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Your GF wanted to send a card and you told her not to because it would remind your friend that his father had died??? Dear Lord. What on earth could be hurtful about receiving a beautiful expression of sympathy for the loss of a loved one?

I appreciated every single card I got when my Mom died and I've saved every one. I send sympathy cards all the time and always include a handwritten note, many times with a happy memory of the person who has died. I have a stack of "generic" sympathy cards, but usually when someone dies, I always feel the urge to go buy one specifically for that person's situation. I used to think the cards with sappy sayings were, well, sappy, but I remember how comforting they were to my Mom when her new husband of four months died during heart surgery. We read every single sappy poem.

Chacho Keva, you remind me of a co-worker I once had....one of the executives in our office lost her baby in utero when it was almost full-term....she was older and it was her first child....such a shocking tragedy. I had been out of town when she came back to work so when I came back to the office, I asked a co-worker if I should stop in and say something.....I didn't know the executive very well and she wasn't a real warm-and-fuzzy person to begin with.....anyway, the co-worker said no, everybody's already past that...so I didn't say anything. I've always regretted that. I appreciated every single person who told me they were sorry about my Mom, and some of those were months after the fact.

Anyway, Windwalker, I am very sorry for your loss.
Agree completly. As if the person is going to forget their loved one passed and your card is going to upset them.

Like you I got many card with hand written messages for both my parents. I kept many.
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:14 PM
 
987 posts, read 400,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwalker2 View Post
My parents retired far from home, across the country. No relatives moved with them except my sibling and I. Mom had no siblings. I put a death notice in the paper back home, and wrote to the relatives I had contact info for. No one from back East would have attended the funeral, and we didn't want people to feel they had to send flowers. I put the obituary in the local paper out here and one person did send a donation in her name. She outlived most, maybe all, of her friends and cohort relatives. The contact info for back East was years old, but I wrote to people I knew were relatives. I tried calling one of her women friends in another state who had been widowed and remarried even though I didn't really know if the info I found was current. I got an answering machine that did not identify who I had reached, but I left my name and number and got no call back. What else do you think I should have done?
At the risk of sounding like the devil's advocate, two thoughts here:

1. Re the people you found in her address book.... were they people you knew well (or once had known well), or possibly people that hadn't seen your mother in decades? Was the information current? I used to have an address book, but some of those contacts are from long ago and are people I haven't been in touch with in many years. The same could have been true for your mother, even if they were family members.

2. Greeting cards are getting ridiculously expensive (for what they are). I remember when they used to be $2 apiece, give or take. These days the decent ones are $6-$8. I realize in the grand scheme of things that's not much, but buying and sending out cards for everything (birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, graduations, condolences, get well, etc) can start to add up. I think that has kind of soured people on greeting cards in general.

In any case, condolences. Frankly, you went to a lot more effort than I probably would have.
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