Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Words Matter - #SOL Sept. 22

Thanks to all the wonderfully smart women at Two Writing Teachers who host this gathering each week. It is a lovely place to capture and share those small moments in life.

Recently, I was sitting on my screened porch, doing some writing. While the screened porch is one of my favorite places to be, this particular writing activity had been weighing heavily on me for awhile and I was dreading it. I was writing the thank you notes for all the kindnesses shown to our family when my dad died this summer.

I think I put it off for so long because, after Mom died in December, and then Dad died a scant seven months later, writing these thank you notes meant there would be some closure around my parents' deaths and I wasn't quite ready for that.

But, through the days I procrastinated on this activity, I started to think about all the words that had meant so much to us as a family this past year:

  • The kind words on each sympathy card that made its way to our mailbox.
  • The words people used during calling hours to talk about what a positive impact my parents had on their lives.
  • The words my brother gathered and arranged into eulogies for our parents - words that captured the special and unique qualities of both of them.
  • The words the granddaughters used when sharing their favorite memories about their grandparents.
  • At the memorial service for Dad, the words that a variety of people chose to share with the entire group.
  • The comforting words on the cards accompanying the flower arrangements that added such a lovely touch to each service.
  • The letters received from cousins recalling memories of their times with my parents and how much those experiences had meant to them.
  • The online words: emails, text messages, Facebook messages, Voxes - these were words of comfort.
And then, one day, I had a big "aha" moment about my grief and moving through it - WORDS MATTERED. 

Words mattered during my grief, and the least I could do was to share my words of appreciation for the gifts of concern and kindnesses we had received as a family. So, while those thank you notes were not my favorite task to do on the screened porch, I could only hope that my words of appreciation mattered to the recipient of each thank you. I know your words most definitely mattered to me!


  1. Ah, Karen, sending hugs. Words do matter, especially in times such as these. Thinking of you.

  2. I can relate and completely understand. Loss, exponentiated, is so difficult to put into words. I hope you are doing okay. Keep writing. It helps.

  3. This is so thoughtful, Karen, and I'm glad that you discovered the "hugs" that words carry, from all sorts of places as you so beautifully wrote. It is not easy to say goodbye, but knowing that others share the grief does help by the words and presence. Hugs to you from me.

  4. These words you are crafting are not easy words to put together, I hope the work goes smoothly and gives you some measure of comfort as you relive fond memories.

  5. Words matter indeed. I hope that expressing your gratitude in those cards was as kind and refreshing as your post. You write with direct honesty. Very welcome kind of words.