This story tracks back to 2013 when a close friend of mine, Gracy, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lymphoma. Despite living in the same city and staying in touch via WhatsApp and Facebook we hardly ever met. During her palliative care I sent her encouraging messages via various apps, but not once did I contact her personally, least of all with a letter.
Unfortunately, Gracy is no more, and I regret to this day never putting pen to paper to write her during her illness. I know I can’t change the outcome but reading my letters would have shown her how special she was to me. Fast forward a few years to last month when I happened to stumble across Inkpact, where the true importance of real, personal connection suddenly hit me with full force following my own experience with Gracy.
In the end-of-life stage, a patient needs psychological support more than ever. Why not provide this boost in the form of a handwritten letter? A get well soon card or an encouraging letter can mean the world. For many patients a stay in the hospital can run into several weeks; letters from friends and family can really boost mood and distract from the pain. According to research, receiving a handwritten letter expressing love or gratitude can increase happiness levels and reduce stress in patients.
This got me thinking about how great it would be if I wrote a letter to everyone who supported me during my own time of illness. A well-crafted letter can enrich someone’s day and support mental resilience during a difficult time. Maybe it’s time we disconnect from our smartphones and tablets and put pen to paper instead? Technology may have made us more productive but it can never replace the warmth and humanity of the handwritten.
Don’t wait – reconnect with the ones you love; thank the people who’ve always been there for you now. Say it with a letter.