When I was in my teens, my mom took me to the Hallmark store to buy a sympathy card for a friend. As I looked over the cards, mom told me to find something with just a few words and soft images. When, years later, I received a sympathy card that looked like a child's birthday card with a sympathy sentiment stuck on it, the truth of mom's advice hit me. (Moms are always right, aren't they?)
Now that I make my own cards, I try to use soft colors and simple statements of sympathy. The sentiment from Papertrey's Beautiful Butterflies is perfect not just for sympathy but for any "difficult time" someone might be experiencing. It works inside the card as well as on the front, too.
I always keep my handwritten comments inside as simple and short as possible, avoiding the empty platitudes or upsetting phrases that can add to people's suffering. As a Stephen Minister, I can assure you that saying "it was God's will" or "she's in a better place" is NOT helpful. Ever. Let the grieving persons come to these conclusions on their own, and then affirm them if/when they do. But don't be the first to say them. Fact is, there are NO words that really help, unless you can share a positive memory of the deceased. The blessing of a sympathy card is that you let the grieving know you are thinking of them, acknowledge and share their grief, and offer kindness and support.
I'll get off my soapbox now.
The colors here are Brilliance platinum planet, pearlescent beige, and pearlescent chocolate. I love how the curly antennae mimics the flourishes of the sentiment, and how the focal point is a stable triangle. Chocolate is softer than black would have been, but it's dark enough to anchor the design and create a very strong focal point. It's hard for your eye to move to the border, isn't it?
|That shimmer works so well for butterflies!|
So why create the border in the first place? Well, my thinking behind this card is that our loved ones leave this earth alone, but they go to join the saints who've gone before. (In the Methodist and other protestant traditions, all who go to God are saints.) The background here, shown only as a narrow border, represents those we see again, the hope of heaven and reunion, and butterflies are such a lovely representation of death and resurrection.
Maybe I'm being too English major about this, but it works for me.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Do you have any rules you follow while making sympathy cards? Have you ever received one that was particularly comforting or particularly hurtful?
stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Butterflies, Papertrey Beautiful Butterflies
accessories: corner rounder, dimensionals