Friday, June 26, 2009

What to Say When They Won't "Feel Better Soon"

I have lamented, long and loud, the apparent great lack of greeting cards designed for those in chronic circumstances of grief, illness or other struggles. When you want to send a card of encouragement to a friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, a cheery, "Get well soon" just doesn't cut it! Or what about an ongoing illness, that while maybe not fatal, has dragged on for weeks, or months, or years with no resolution in sight? Or for someone who has lost a loved one and is several months or even a few years down the pathway of learning to live again in the midst of grief, yet still faces unexpectedly painful seasons?

For friends with chronic illness I've occasionally resorted to using typical "get well" cards then including a personal note that I know the card sentiment is greatly lacking but that I am praying for their ongoing journey. But all too often I've left the card isle frustrated, and for lack of knowing what to say and not finding anything that captures my sentiments well, I've ended up taking the worse course of action possible - sending/saying/doing nothing at all. :(

When recently reconnecting with an online friend who works at DaySpring, I shared with Holley my concern. Much to my delight, she introduced me to a beautiful line of cards called "A Time of Need". Far from your typical "get well soon," these cards address deep pain head-on, yet with much tenderness and gentle compassion. I've now reviewed more than a dozen cards from this line and found myself wiping at tears both for what receiving sentiments like this would mean to me personally, and in thankfulness that there is such a wonderful resource now available for me to use when reaching out to others. Next time you are looking for just the right words, I would encourage you to head for the DaySpring cards rack at your local Christian bookstore and draw a deep breath of fresh air as you read through the "A Time of Need" selections!

1 comment:

Sophy Nextdoor said...

Jenni, this is really good to know. My mom fought cancer for 24 years, and I know that the "get well soon" cards always bothered her a little.