I’ve not yet been subjected to any well intended but painfully clumsy good wishes regarding my illness. Maybe word hasn’t gotten around yet, or maybe I just don’t have that many acquaintances who care. (Or maybe I just have very classy friends.) But I came across an item on Slate this morning that I wanted to share.
Designer Emily McDowell has created some empathy cards of the sort she wishes she’d gotten when she was fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She said the toughest part of her illness was having friends or family disappear because they felt awkward and didn’t know what to say to her, or who said the wrong thing without realizing it. No doubt she’s referring to people who say brightly, “Oh, Hodgkin’s. I knew someone who had that … but he died.” We all know the type.
Of the cards shown, this was my favorite:
The cards and related products are currently available at EmilyMcDowell.com, where you can also find a list of retailers who stock McDowell’s designs. If someone you know is ill and you’re struggling to find the right words, it might be a good place to start.
(And seriously, my family, friends, and acquaintances have been awesome. I’m so lucky to have you all.)