One of the most frequently asked questions when someone dies is, “Is there anything I can do?” No one has ever come up with the single perfect phrase to help ease the burden following a loss, but I can assure you, from years of observation, that there is always something you can do.
Most of the time when a family is asked this question they do not know what (or how) to answer. They don’t know what they need. They are in a fog and are not thinking five minutes into the future much less the next day, month or year.
If you are looking at a funeral home blog then you must certainly already know of any number of things you can physically do to help someone who has suffered a loss. It does not always have to be a grand gesture or a significant act. In fact, I am suggesting that, in addition to whatever you do, do NOT discount the value of sending a card.
In this day and age of instant gratification and instant messaging, think about the effort that goes into sending a card. One must first select the proper card, so some thought goes into what message is in the card (thank you to the geniuses at Hallmark for doing the heavy lifting there!) Some sort of personal note is almost always included. You don’t have to be a Hallmark writer, but anything heartfelt comes through. Then you must find the proper address (not always an easy task with fewer and fewer land lines listed in the phone book), find a stamp, and get it mailed. And it’s no coincidence when a card arrives at just the right moment with just the right words to give comfort.
I can tell you from personal experience that I read each and every single card that came to me when my parents died. After Mom died, Dad kept all of the cards together and would periodically get them out and peruse the notes and the sentiments. He said that it gave him a measure of peace knowing what people thought about his Charby.
So if you know of someone who has died, take the time to reach out and touch that family with a card. The greatest gift you can give is the gift of love and caring, and taking the time to send a card shows both.
Do not dismiss or underestimate the value of this simple gesture.