Whether you flip on the television and view countless holiday commercials, tune in to some Christmas carols on the radio, or attend a holiday party, the same message is constant. People are selling, singing, or talking about positive, happy things during the holidays. This is often very welcome, but it can actually be quite challenging to those who have recently lost a loved one. The sadness and loss are painfully magnified in the light of others perceived utopian holiday festivities. It can become a dreaded time of renewed or increased mourning. If you know someone in such a situation, they might still very much appreciate a holiday card, but the greeting card must have the right tenor to achieve a positive effect. The card must not be too positive in tone while concurrently not become a sympathy card either. Writing a holiday card for such an audience is somewhat challenging, but when done correctly, can positively impact its recipient. The following may be helpful when crafting your holiday card.
Don’t Ignore the Situation – As a friend or family member, you are aware of the struggle at this time of year. It’s okay and actually welcome to acknowledge this fact in an easy, indirect way. It lets your recipient know that you care about their situation without bringing them to the point of dragging up negative emotions.
Send Realistic Good Wishes for the Holidays – Aside from briefly acknowledging that your recipient might be having a difficult time, the rest of your card should be sensibly positive. By sensibly positive, I mean your kind wishes should be things that are actually attainable this year. It might not be prudent to say something like “I hope you have a happy, wonderful holiday season” because that likely will not happen this year. Instead, wishes such as “I am looking forward to seeing you at Joe’s party on the 22nd” or “Hope Edna sends us some of her delicious fruitcake again this year” are achievable aspirations or goals that can potentially bring a smile to your recipient’s face.
5 thoughts on “Sending Holiday Cards to Those Who Have Recently Lost a Loved One”
Definitely a tough situation. You dont want to ignore the person who passed, but it is difficult to bring up in what is usually a cheerful time.
Ignoring the situation is not the way to go so this is great advice. The person wants to hear a good memory of the person who passed.
These are people who need a card the most. They should get extra love in their message.
Great points… this is really helpful for those who have never suffered any loss. It can be difficult to know what to do in order to help.
Really tough topic. You dont want to ignore the death, but don’t dwell on it in the greeting either.