It’s Week 3 and Day 15 of the 2018 #sendcardsspreadlove challenge! The week 3 challenge starts today & we have fabulous guest posts beginning with Katelyn Woolley on what to say to someone who is going through a difficult time. (And she’s generously offering a 25% off coupon!)
On Wednesday our regular contributor Nancy Gaines will be here with gorgeous snail mail graphics for your use & inspiration to send cards & spread love. Then on Friday, we have a second BONUS challenge along with Sara McNally of Constellation & Co., who shares a training regimen to help aspiring snail mail superstars sail over the obstacles of sending cards. It’s gonna be a great week!
How To Participate In The Challenge
For those of you just joining us: welcome to the party & it’s not too late to participate! I’m asking you to send 4 cards out into the world this month, based on the 4 weekly prompts provided, plus a few bonus challenges. Which means there’s still 3 more opportunities to send cards & win prizes! Totally do-able, right?
The intention with this challenge is for you to connect with the ones you love in a fun way, while bringing back the joy and beauty of real communication…that still fits into your fast-paced lifestyle. Sign up to receive all the info and special bonus content that won’t be shared on the blog and don’t forget to join us in the Facebook Group.
I also want to say that I have absolutely loved seeing your posts on Instagram and in the Facebook group. The creativity and enthusiasm you all have to send cards has blown me away. I want to share several of the week 2 challenge entries. You still have until 11:59 pm EST TODAY to enter. To be eligible to win a collection of thank you cards (plus a 48 page downloadable pdf The Together Journal!) you must: share your week 2 challenge card and/or note on Instagram (or in the Facebook group) tag @prettybypost and use the #sendcardsspreadlove hashtag.
Here’s a brief recap of Week 1:
- BIG LIST of reasons to send cards [Day 1]
- Resources on what to write [Day 3]
- Guest post from Alexandra Franzen on the urgency of letting someone you know how much they mean to you [Day 5]
Here’s a brief recap of Week 2:
- Guest post from Amanda Sue Howell on hand lettering envelopes [Day 8]
- Guest post from Jill DeLuce on Letterpress Printing & Why It’s Special [Day 10]
- Guest post from Naomi Hattaway sharing how empathy muscles are strengthened through letter writing [Day 12]
Day 15 Of The 2018 #sendcardsspreadlove Challenge
Week 3 Challenge: Support & Encouragement
The challenge this week is to send a support or encouragement card. Cheer someone on who is starting a business or new project or for trying something new or going outside of their comfort zone. Support someone going through a difficult transition or challenge. Or just send someone a card who needs a hug & to know that you’ve got their back. Check out the day 1 post for other ideas & a list of organizations to send cards to.
The prize is a collection of support/encouragement cards! In order to be eligible to win:
- share your card and/or note with the week 3 challenge
- tag me on IG @prettybypost or in the FB group along with the #sendcardsspreadlove hashtag by April 23rd at midnight EST.
And now to today’s guest post!
Not only does Kate Woolley create beautiful cards but she also provides cards in a greatly needed niche for women who are struggling with miscarriage, infertility and pregnancy-related issues & complications. Learn more about Kate in our interview from last year here.
We all know someone who has suffered a loss or is going through grief & while we want to be there for them, sometimes we don’t know what to say & therefore, we don’t say anything. Today, Kate helps us write to someone going through a difficult time. PLUS, Kate is generously offering 25% off of any cards by using the code: ‘SPREADLOVE‘.
Sending Cards with Love + Support During a Time of Grief
Trying to figure out what to say to someone who is grieving can be so difficult. I create cards for a living that support women who have experienced miscarriage, infertility, and other pregnancy-related issues… so you would think I would know exactly what to say when someone is walking through one of those situations. That is just simply not the case.
Every person is different, and each situation is different. And that became so apparent to me when one of my closest friends suddenly confided that she had recently experienced two miscarriages within the last year. I was stunned that she hadn’t told me, and also deeply saddened that she had gone through it all without my support. As a Miscarried Mama myself, I thought I would be a great sounding board and a safe space for her to share her experience, even if she didn’t want to share it publicly. I was likely one of the first people she told, but after she shared the news, it was obvious she didn’t want to open up any further about the experience. She simply wanted me to know it had happened.
Even so, I decided to send her a card. It took me DAYS to figure out what to write. This was several months ago, and I still doubt whether or not I wrote the right thing. I sent her a light-hearted card with a punchy message and wrote what was on my heart: I wanted her to know that however she wanted to cope with her grief, I would be there. It took her several weeks to finally mention that she received the card, but she was appreciative that I took the time to write her a note.
Snail mail is so important. No matter what, you cannot replace the love that is delivered with a physical letter. Our world has made it incredibly easy to send a text, an email, or a Facebook message. It takes time and effort to write a handwritten note and express your true feelings to someone. I think regardless of what you end up writing, the actual physical act of sending someone a card or a letter itself can be as impactful as what is actually written. It lets them know that you care and that you took the time out of your day to think of them.
So, what do you write to someone who is grieving? What do you say to someone who is walking through a grief that you yourself have never even experienced? I don’t know if there is a right answer. Our culture has made it difficult for people to grieve. Often times, we don’t know how to react when someone is upset or having a hard time, and it can be easy to say the first thing that pops into your head. And unfortunately, that response can be really damaging. It likely comes from a place of deep compassion and love, but I remember some of the most hurtful things said to me after our miscarriage, were from family and friends with the best intentions of trying to comfort me.
In reflection of my own grief, I now know all I wanted was to be loved and supported. I didn’t want anyone to fix me, and I didn’t want anyone to belittle my situation. I wanted to be listened to. I wanted to know that people cared for me and would stick by me in however long it took me to cope with the situation of losing a child.
Now when I don’t know what to say, I usually stick with the following:
I care. I’m here for you, and I will support you during this time.
Those sentiments are universal and true. They are not offensive, and they let the recipient know that you will be there for them, regardless of what is going on, and regardless of how long it takes for them to be okay.
I am a big believer in everyone processing their grief differently. This can come in many different forms, and it’s important to support people in whatever way works best for them. I think this truth really connects back to the story of my close friend. We both miscarried and we both reacted and grieved in very different ways. And there is nothing wrong with that! We both moved through our grief and have come out the other side stronger, more beautiful women. And even though we did grieve differently, there were two things we both needed—to be loved and supported by our family and friends.
I hope these words have encouraged you to write to your loved ones walking through grief. You may not know what to say—and that’s okay. The most important thing is to show up and be there for the other person. To let them know you love them, and that you care.
PS. Kate is generously offering 25% off of any cards by using the code: ‘SPREADLOVE‘.
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Kate Woolley is a 30-year-old mama from San Diego, California who is passionate about designing beautiful paper products to support women struggling through miscarriage, infertility, and other pregnancy-related issues. Most days you can find her chasing around her two-year-old-rainbow-baby, working a full-time job as an Art Director at an advertising agency, and running a small business in her spare time. Kate founded The Noble Paperie after suffering a miscarriage, and then an extremely high-risk pregnancy that included 40+ days of hospitalized bed rest, an emergency C-section at 32-weeks gestation, and an additional 34 days in NICU with her son before she was able to finally bring him home. You can connect with Kate on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.