Sympathy Card Rant
I've had to buy several sympathy cards lately, and of course we got scores of them when Mom died.
Now don't get me wrong, I really loved and appreciated every one that we got, mostly because I knew the people who were sending them, and their love and care, and thought was the comfort. I get that that's the point. Some of them even had nice sentiments.
But, in general, I HATE them. I mean seriously--have you gone to Hallmark and read any? They are terrible! Especially the "Christiany" ones. It's like here--you've just been dealt a devestating blow, now how about a sermon?
The ones I hate most are the ones that try to tell you how to feel, "They aren't gone, they are merely away." "We can't understand God's plan, but He always has one." Oh PUHLEASE!!!!
When I'm buying one, I usually end up trying to find the most generic one I can with the least amount of sermonizing and then write my own note. Occasionally I'll find one that just, "fits" and that is always a relief, but it truly is a rare occasion.
I just don't get it. Why is our society so afraid to talk about the fact that death happens? I mean, statistically it's a certainty for all of us, right? And, unless a larger number than I'm aware of are holed up as hermits, people who die generally leave a few people behind. So why are we so afraid of saying words that are real instead of sermonizing or glossing over the pain--or worst of all trying to tell people how to feel their feelings?
In general, I think we'd be a healthier society if we got more comfortable with the idea of loss. We're so inundated with gimmee, gimmees, but we experience some form of loss many, many times--loss of friends, loss of jobs, loss of hometowns, loss of paradigms. Why can't we be real about that?
I think I might start my own line of sympathy cards. They will have messages like, "Grief sucks. I'm here for you." Or, "Call me if you need another casserole (or if you want me to wisk you away for some real food since I know you have tons of them)." Or, "Hurt in whatever way works." Or, "There is no normal now. Be gentle with yourself."
They might not be flowery, but they seem more real to me than sanitized cardboard sermons.