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Old 02-19-2006, 06:13 PM   #1  
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Default I have an issue with sympathy cards

Hi all. I don't know what my problem is. I always feel a bit awkward making and sending sympathy cards. I guess it's because I enjoy making the cards, which feels weird to me in a sad situation. For example, good friends of mine just lost their 6 day old infant. I need to send a card, but for the life of me can't force myself to go make one. I'm going to go buy a card tomorrow.

I know many of you make sympathy cards, which I'm sure are so very appreciated by the recipients. Am I nuts for feeling this way? Does anyone else feel this? Can anyone offer advice?

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Old 02-19-2006, 06:16 PM   #2  
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oh my goodness I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. That is horrifying.


There is a thread of ideas for sympathy cards that was posted today if you need help thinking of something to case.

Regardless, no, you are not alone. I have a hard time with them as well.

(((hugs)))
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:17 PM   #3  
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I am so sorry for your friends' loss! This is terrible!

Advice...make sympathy cards when you don't need them. That way you can enjoy making your cards and have them on hand when the need arises. Make a variety so you will have one that fits the occasion. I need to follow my own advice. First I need to buy a sympthy set for some appropriate sentiments.

Janna
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:21 PM   #4  
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Thank you for posting this. My very first "real card" was for my sister's friend whose Dad had died. I felt a bit weird (like I was advertising myself), but I am sure she appreciated the thought that went into it. I was just coming here for some suggestions for color combos...I can't think! Plus I have limited stamps for this and no "sympathy stamps." TFS
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:21 PM   #5  
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Janna, I like your advice. That is a great idea and one that I need to start doing.
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:52 PM   #6  
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I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. I can't imagine their despair. You know, I don't look at the enjoyment of making and giving sympathy cards as something weird or unhealthy. Usually while I'm making the cards, I'm thinking of the recipient and my memories of our relationship. It's almost like prayer, you know? I think of it as giving the best of who I am in honor of an important life. I think that "weird" feeling is a part of our humanness and our capacity for compassion.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:27 PM   #7  
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Default Sympathy Cards looking from the one who recieved them.

I particpated in a Sympathy Card Swap to get some. I can tell you that having my Mother pass away in August, a few of my fellow stampers send me stamped sympathy cards (all of which I kept) and I loved each and everyone. I then stamped all the thank you cards for my father and family. My Dad has heard nothing but complements on how beautiful the notes were. My Mom loved when I gave her handmade things it was like the last thing I could give her and it was very satisfying for me.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:32 PM   #8  
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Your love and support to your friends will mean so much more than any card - I always try to have a few cards made in advance like Janna suggested and Amy's explanation is so right. Something you might like to do is make some cards for your friends for the months ahead. Once the trauma of the funeral, etc. is over, the real grief sets in. Knowing someone is thinking of them and praying for them will make a difference.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:33 PM   #9  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZZZach'smom
I am so sorry for your friends' loss! This is terrible!

Advice...make sympathy cards when you don't need them. That way you can enjoy making your cards and have them on hand when the need arises. Make a variety so you will have one that fits the occasion. I need to follow my own advice. First I need to buy a sympthy set for some appropriate sentiments.

Janna

Firstly, I am sorry for your friend's loss.

And secondly, I agree make them when you don't need them - and then they are there
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:39 PM   #10  
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Every card of mine is a piece of me. I consider it as putting time and effort into a card rather than simply giving a store bought card. I think this honors the memory of the person. SU had a retired sympathy set (Loving Memories) that I use the words from all the time. The phrase I like says "What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never loose." I love using that.

I know that, at this time of profound sadness, any gesture on your part will be appreciated. I say make something really special, put a piece of you into it, and send it.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:53 PM   #11  
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Also, when someone we care about goes through such a significant loss--there is so little we can do. One thing we can do is be present. A card is a way of indicating that presence (sp?) as well as offering our support. BTW, I am sure your friend would not mind if there are already tear stains on her card before she recieves it. It is an act of love and a positive way for us to channel our own feelings of grief and helplessness.

Also, when dealing with a grieving friend, it may be best to do one now and one later. After the shock has worn off and people around your friend may expect her to move on, she may need additional support. One sympathy, now and one thinking of you, later.

Just a thought--dh is a pastor and death marches through our house hold quite regularly.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:02 PM   #12  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZZZach'smom
I am so sorry for your friends' loss! This is terrible!

Advice...make sympathy cards when you don't need them. That way you can enjoy making your cards and have them on hand when the need arises. Make a variety so you will have one that fits the occasion. I need to follow my own advice. First I need to buy a sympthy set for some appropriate sentiments.

Janna
That's great advice. My tip is that I give myself persmission to buy a sympathy card. I make all my other cards, but feel weird trying to make sympathy cards. I figure the family doesn't care if the card is made or bought, it's your caring and support that they count on.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:10 PM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZZZach'smom
I am so sorry for your friends' loss! This is terrible!

Advice...make sympathy cards when you don't need them. That way you can enjoy making your cards and have them on hand when the need arises. Make a variety so you will have one that fits the occasion. I need to follow my own advice. First I need to buy a sympthy set for some appropriate sentiments.

Janna
This is very good advice! I have found that it is much easier to get a sympathy card out on a timely basis if the card front is already made (I do the "insides" on my computer with a card program and save doing that part until I know who the card is being sent to).
For whatever reason, if I have to make a sympathy card "on demand", I spend hours dithering around trying to figure out what would be best, or most appropriate, etc. If the cards are already prepared, I pick one out the bunch that works best -- no dithering. Writing the insides of the cards are difficult enough without having to agonize about the outside.

Susy
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:27 PM   #14  
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I just sent out two sympathy cards I made. I used the time to think about the person I'm sending it to, as sometimes I don't know the person who died. (Example, if a friend's mom died and lives in another state...)
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:07 PM   #15  
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i'm sorry about your friends loss.

i do the same thing...make sympathy cards when i don't need them. i've uploaded a few in my gallery. i've used best blossoms, all i have seen and toile blossoms. i just change the color scheme and make a few of each design.
here's a couple:
http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...0&ppuser=19370

http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...0&ppuser=19370

http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...0&ppuser=19370
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:12 PM   #16  
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It is very hard for me to make sympathy cards if i am close to the person, especially. I don't think I could come up with words on my own for what your friends have gone through. How very sad. I will pray for them.

I like the ideas of making them ahead of time, or allowing yourself to just buy sympathy cards.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:30 PM   #17  
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I think that " Thinking of You" is a wonderful sentiment to use on a Sympathy card. Because, well, you are thinking of them. And, thinking of you cards are great ones to make up ahead of time because they are so versatile...
thinking of you during your time of loss....
Thinking of you on your birthday....
thinking of you on your anniversary....
thinking of you and your wonderful friendship....
etc.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:14 AM   #18  
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I am sorry for your friend's loss, that is a terrible thing to have to go through.

I try to make several sympathy cards at one time when I do not need them. For me it is easier to make them when I am not overshadowed with sadness.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:06 AM   #19  
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I don't like making Sympathy cards either........well not that I don't like them, but I guess I don't enjoy making them as much as birthday, holidays, etc.

I made a card for my girlfriend last year when her father passed away. She loved the card and actually brought it to the memorial service and had it next to his pictures. Back at the house, I had everyone coming up to me telling me how much they loved it. And now that I am thinking about it.....my girlfriend and her aunt & uncle wanted me to make them 20 each and I never did! Forgot about it til now!!! Here is a link to the card in my gallery
http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...00&ppuser=3226
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:56 AM   #20  
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I feel terrible for your friend. To lose a child is so awful. Maybe this sounds a little wierd, but at my first (and only) w/s one of the guests FIL had just passed away so she couldn't come - therefore, I decided to do a Sympathy card as a M&T. Everyone loved it. My upline had just lost her father, too and I simply told everyone - you don't get any lead time for a sympathy card ususally, so I CASEd on and everyone loved having one on hand. I just used the Floral BG on Confetti White in Ele. Eggplant and wapped some EE grosgrain around the card and tied a knot. Then stamped the sentiment from Brighter Tomorow on CW and layered it on EE. Used another sentiment from the same set on the inside. Easy, beautiful, and can make in a few minutes. Now I am not so pressured to come up with something in a hurry.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:58 AM   #21  
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I must admit that I also buy sympathy cards most of the time. The only time I really make them is when I know someone expects a handmade card from me, or when I'm making a pack of different occasion cards for someone as a gift, then I'll usually include one sympathy card.

- krista
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:00 AM   #22  
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I cannot imagine what your friend is going through right now. So sad!

Sympathy cards are difficult. I think sometimes we want to say just the right thing, but we have no idea what that is. The important thing is to let your friend know you love her and you're here for her when she needs you. I often just try to be honest and come right out and say, "I don't know what to say except that I love you, I'm praying for you, and I'm here when you need me for anything at all."

The important thing is to send something, even if it's store bought.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:39 AM   #23  
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Thanks so much for all for your responses. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me. I appreciate all the advice and hearing how you feel about sympathy cards. It's good to know I'm in good company in my struggles with them.

I appreciate all of you who offered to pray for my friends who lost their baby. Their names are Bryan and Katie.

Thanks again friends.
Kim
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:51 AM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by amykae
I'm so sorry for your friend's loss. I can't imagine their despair. You know, I don't look at the enjoyment of making and giving sympathy cards as something weird or unhealthy. Usually while I'm making the cards, I'm thinking of the recipient and my memories of our relationship. It's almost like prayer, you know? I think of it as giving the best of who I am in honor of an important life. I think that "weird" feeling is a part of our humanness and our capacity for compassion.
Amy
I liked how Amy put this - it captures how I feel about this. Making a card for someone is a way of showing my love. It feels like such a small thing I can do compared to what the family is going through. I don't think it is disrespectful to enjoy the process. It is good to remember that person & enjoy remembering the essence of who they were. I think taking the time to prepare something personal speaks to the recipient ... and what other time do they need it most?
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:18 AM   #25  
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I understand your feelings. I initially send a store-bought card, then about two weeks later I send a hand-made "thinking of you" card.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:30 AM   #26  
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I am sorry for your friends' lost.

I feel funny about make these cards also and have yet to make one. I always end up buying sympathy cards.

Last week somebody asked me if I would make some sympathy cards for them - and I couldn't answer her. On the inside I was thinking "my cards are just too fun to make I just can't make sad ones".

I like the idea of making thinking of you cards instead - but I think I am going to tell my friend no - that I would feel uncomfortable making sympathy cards.

Thanks for bringing this topic into a thread.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:01 AM   #27  
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I have chosen to not often make sympathy cards.

When I make a card I tend to think of whom might enjoy the card.
This is hard when making sympathy cards. I can not do it in a group because I cry.

My husband is military so I have gone through too many in recent times. I tend to be morbid because I understand how fragile life is and it could be my husband who could not come home. I think about what I would want. I want my military to be there with me and I want to be there for my military family.

This last batch was hard and even harder to send out.
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:13 AM   #28  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stamper4armyman
I have chosen to not often make sympathy cards.

When I make a card I tend to think of whom might enjoy the card.
This is hard when making sympathy cards. I can not do it in a group because I cry.

My husband is military so I have gone through too many in recent times. I tend to be morbid because I understand how fragile life is and it could be my husband who could not come home. I think about what I would want. I want my military to be there with me and I want to be there for my military family.

This last batch was hard and even harder to send out.
God bless you in your losses. It takes a special person to be a military wife.
Amy
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:25 PM   #29  
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Amy and Darci, you put into words so beautifully what I feel when I make cards--I really feel like it is a quiet ministry.
That being said, my friend lost her battle with breast cancer last week, and I need to make a card for her family, and I just haven't been able to do it yet. I love all the ideas in this thread, and have printed out the poem about the tide receeding to possibly use.
My thoughts and prayers are with the couple that lost their newborn child. I just can't imagine their pain.

Sharon
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:41 PM   #30  
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Sympathy cards are difficult to make. For me, it is often a way of healing for myself and respect of the person and her/his family that died. If I have had a close relationship with the person who dies, I try to use a poem or quotation or stamp that meant a lot to him or her - and often write a personal note in the card explaining to the family why I chose the thing I did. (Example: a friend that loved gardening - I made sure the card was full of flowers and then I shared a memory of my friend that related to the flower theme).

About ten years ago I made a commitment to not send a card the first week of a death. I wait for three or four weeks after the cermony has been over, the relatives have left and send a card reminding the family that I am still thinking of them and offering to help in any way that I can. Or in some cases I send a sympathy card right away and a Thinking of You card about a month later.

Reading the posts, it's such a reminder of how different we are and that it is really a matter of how we individually work through our own loss. If buying a card feels better - go for it!!!

My heart goes out to your friends - what a horrible loss.
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:00 PM   #31  
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As someone who has lost a child (my oldest son died two years ago at age 25) I would like you to know that your card would be a gift. To know that a friend cared enough to take the time to make a card...that means so much. As we all know, life goes on after a death. But the fact that you took the special time to devote to that card will touch their hearts. Make a card. It will be treasured. Sue
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:29 PM   #32  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimzkardz
Hi all. I don't know what my problem is. I always feel a bit awkward making and sending sympathy cards. I guess it's because I enjoy making the cards, which feels weird to me in a sad situation. For example, good friends of mine just lost their 6 day old infant. I need to send a card, but for the life of me can't force myself to go make one. I'm going to go buy a card tomorrow.

I know many of you make sympathy cards, which I'm sure are so very appreciated by the recipients. Am I nuts for feeling this way? Does anyone else feel this? Can anyone offer advice?

Thanks
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Kim, I totally identify with where you're coming from. I've been an avid crocheter since junior high school, and a few years ago started making items for a charity group that donates layettes to hospital NICUs for the little angels who don't make it. Whenever I was working on a project in a waiting room or some other public place, I would hesitate to tell people who asked what I was working on, and would just say I was making preemie clothes for the hospital. The super-tiny items I would make at home.

I love to crochet, and derive a great deal of enjoyment from it. I still do when I'm making the layettes, because I think of how much it's going to mean to the parents that someone did that for them. As I work, I say a prayer for the family who will be receiving that item. There was one time when it was too hard to do it, though, and that's when our chapter leader ended up needing one of the layettes herself. A few weeks went by before I could bring myself to make another tiny hat or gown.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:30 PM   #33  
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There are so many replies here, I haven't read all of them.

I also have one to make for my friend who just lost her mom. Actually, she has grown children, so I will send cards to all of them. I have been putting it off now for over 24 hours. It's just difficult to do. It is ten times more difficult for someone who has lost a child. I would say to go ahead and buy a card so she knows you are thinking of her. Then, maybe sit down and make some "thinking of you" cards to send every other week or so. There is nothing harder than losing a child, and your friend will probably appreciate crying over your thoughts in each one.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:24 PM   #34  
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it's so ironic that I should read your thread tonight... I just made a sympathy card yesterday for the family of my teenage son's best friend. He passed away almost two weeks ago. It was such a horrible and shocking tragedy that I couldn't bring myself to make a card right away.

I did end up making a card because I knew his family would appreciate it. I used the Garden Collage set -- I love the sentiment that comes with that set. It is "Gentle Thoughts of You" . For me, that is perfect. I then wrote a personal note inside.

I used caramel & eggplant papers -- it came out quite nice. And a big piece of my heart went with it.
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:29 AM   #35  
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Check out LSC58--Handle with Care
http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...ht=Handle+care

This whole forum is talking about sympathy cards in the loss of a child.
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