From:  Nancy Smoyer

   Dated:  July 6, 2016

Subject:  After 20 Years

Ken,
Someone recently said something like that to me about a sympathy card (albeit not as powerful).  From personal experience with deaths in my family, what I appreciate most is when people tell me something specific about the person which I may not have known before or how that person influenced their lives.
I may have said this before, but when  person dies, new memories can no longer be made with them, but the memory store can be increased by hearing stories from others about that person.  So that's what I try to do when I write.
Nancy


Words Count - Even After 20 Years

July 2016

    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  July 6, 2016

Subject:  After 20 Years

Friends:
I tend to shy away from those maudlin, faux displays of sympathy in commercial cards.  I gravitate toward blank note cards inside of which I write a personal message to family members.
Lila and I attended two funeral services this weekend.  Once again, I wrote out two cards in my labored and almost unreadable hand.  One for a former employee and one for a neighbor.  Each had the mandatory church lunch afterward.  While chatting with friends and neighbors following the second, a woman came to the table at which we sat and began to chat.  Lila knew her, but then Lila knows everyone around here.  She was 85-ish and wanted to speak to me.  She said she had been reading her personal journal the day before, and read my note to her on the death of her husband.  She had copied the message to her journal knowing full well that even I can’t read my own hand once it is an hour or two old.  She said she goes back to those words every once in a while for consolation.  She thanked me, then was off to chat with other members of the family whom she knew.  Her husband had died in the early nineties!
Sometimes just the right words at the right time can influence someone for years, just as sometimes the wrong words can similarly influence someone for years.
Consider the things you say to everyone you encounter.  Consider well what you say when angry.  Sometimes the impressions your words make can echo for years, decades, even.
Ken Kalish

Carma Llama Rescue


AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  July 6, 2016

Subject:  After 20 Years

Ken,
As with all your writings and notes, very well said.  It is something I try to keep in mind, but sometimes find it difficult or will lapse once in a while.   "What you say" has to include "what you write" in email messages.   It is very easy to say the wrong thing in a message and once sent--there is no taking it back.
Thanks for the reminder.
Jim W

    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  July 6, 2016

Subject:  After 20 Years

Thanks, Nancy