Letter writing for love, comfort and in memoriam, featuring More Love Letters, From Me To You Letters and 60 Postcards.
We take Leo out in his pram every day, going on different adventures, walking along different paths, and exploring different parts of our home city. Every day, someone stops to talk to us, or offers to help us, or gives us the ‘hey, we’re parents too’ nod (some people don’t realise they do this, but it’s funny when it happens).
There is something about having a baby that signals to strangers that we welcome the hellos and the smiles — and we do. It’s lovely. In fact, I’m often left wishing there were more occasions and situations where this is ‘OK’.
That’s when letter writing came to my mind. It’s a signal and a reason for us to express ourselves while having the comfort blanket of pen and paper. When we write down our thoughts, feelings and ideas, we seem to break down barriers and bring out the best in humanity.
Here are 3 ongoing conversations where writing letters, cards and postcards have done just that:
1. For love
More Love Letters sends strangers in need messages of love, support and encouragement from whoever would like to write them.
Its founder, Hannah, needed her own pick-me-up one day and began leaving letters around New York City for unsuspecting visitors and commuters to find. Her mum used to tuck love letters in boxes and bags for her, and so it made sense to do the same for others. She’d write on the front of the letters: ‘If you find this letter, it’s for you’.
Hundreds of handwritten letters later, and More Love Letters was born — with a promise of sending letters to anyone who asked for one.
Love letter bundles are now sent around the world, and everyone is invited to join in.
2. For comfort
From Me To You Letters proves how something as simple as receiving a letter can make the world of difference to a friend or family member suffering from cancer.
Alison and Brian, the charity’s owners, found that this support can dissipate when a patient is about to start treatment or surgery, and this is mainly because those close to them just don’t know what to say or how to communicate.
Once these barriers are overcome, reading and re-reading letters of positivity, or even about the everyday, help improve recovery rates and boost wellbeing.
It’s why From Me To You Letters offers writing prompts, runs workshops and does everything possible to get people writing that first letter.
3. In memoriam
60 Postcards began as a touching tribute. On what would have been her mum’s 60th birthday, Rachael decided to travel to Paris (using Eurostar vouchers that her mum had given her) and scatter 60 postcards around the city.
Each card included a handwritten note, along with Rachael’s email address asking the finder to get in touch.
Since then, many of the cards have been found, connections have been made, a blog was born, a book was written, and many a story has been shared.
Rachael now plans for the initiative to become a storytelling platform for those remembering lost loved ones.