Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Offers of Sympathy Need No Thanks

Sympathy cards. I wish that I could do more than write these, but I feel it's my only way to bring a little bit of comfort to those in pain, those who have lost a family member who belonged to our Regiment.  And so, after notifications of the Regiment's first casualty, off I went to the PX to purchase a sympathy card.  It took me so long to get the words just right as I sat at my dining room table that afternoon, & once I did, I copied those words down to be used again when needed, knowing sadly that time would come.  Other than prayers, how do you give peace?  Even though I didn't know this family, I hoped that the arrival of my card would offer some comfort.

I was in a training class on Post some months ago for a team of volunteers willing to help out when a family member is lost.  I offered to cook & bake -- it's the least I can do.  One topic, however, was that of sending Thank You letters to those who send sympathy cards.  The thought of this frustrated me deeply!  At a time of deep personal loss & disaster, the last thing someone should have to do is write cards to say thank you to each person who helped them.

Well, today I received a thank you card for one of the sympathy cards I have sent.  It wasn't easy looking at the photo on the card, seeing the name again.  But seeing my address on the envelope, written in beautiful handwriting, made me hope with all my heart that it wasn't a direct family member who took the time to send this to me.

Sympathy cards require no "thank you", no acknowledgment of being received & appreciated.  It almost breaks my heart to think that a family would feel obligated to complete this task.

I know it's probably in good form, but what is your opinion?  My heart goes out to each family who has lost a loved one, whether it be in battle or any other situation.  May their focus be wholly on those they hold dear
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