I never understood the power of the card until my Mum died. Just a card. I would send them, but I had never thought what it was like to be on the receiving end (which is remarkable considering how much death I have been on the receiving end of).
On the day my Mum died that changed, from the moment we started telling people there was a steady flow of people to the door and cards through the letterbox. When there was a lull in proceedings we would sit in our numb automatic pilot state and open cards. Even days later there were cards to open and when I arrived to be with my Dad again there were still cards coming. I counted 126 and 20 more arrived that day. It isn’t the number of cards, but that each individual card is someone thinking of us. So many people. A card sent in love, arrives in love. When you don’t know what to do opening a card, or reading a card is so therapeutic.
Often when someone dies we are alone and we have to tell people (in the rare moments they are interested) what that person meant to us, but none of us have had to do that with Mum. Each card, each greeting, each message lifts us and carries us through it all.
Our family feel carried and amongst the expected we have been carried by the most unexpected too.
I have sent cards before thinking mine will be tossed aside, read and put aside, but now I am on the receiving end I know how wrong I was. Cards aren’t just for the opening they have been sent and opened in love, they are looking at us, holding us up and each one says something different.
They are just cards, but they mean so much more than I ever dreamt.