The Gift of Heartfelt Letters

lost art of letter writing letters

One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food  and stimulating conversation.  She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.

As she was losing her ability to speak, she would type letters to us. I came across a few recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.

Eventually, she lost her ability to type and the letters she received from friends and family became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.

As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.

Since then I have written several letters from the heart. As I wrote them I would be flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I was writing to. Their responses were incredible. They would cry. I would cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.

My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of heartfelt letter writing. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special. 

Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.


5 thoughts on “The Gift of Heartfelt Letters

  1. Recently, I came across the Facebook page of a friend of a friend, who was dying of cancer. It was filled with memories and pictures from friends and loved ones. I cried as I scrolled through her feed, seeing how her life had inspired so many others and how they were taking the time to give back to her in her last days. She passed away the day after I discovered her, but that experience impacted me profoundly. Don’t wait to tell someone how much they mean/meant to you; today is the day.

    • Linda Luke says:

      So true. Sometimes I would try to entertain my friend who was ill or read my blog to her and while she appreciated that, I could tell that it was most meaningful when I simply said “I love you.”

  2. MelissaG says:

    Thank you for this post, Linda. I wholeheartedly agree that there is something special about heartfelt letter writing. And having read Lynette’s book as well, I am recently inspired to write such a letter to a family member, while that family member is still around to appreciate the sentiment.

    • Linda Luke says:

      While we can write heartfelt letters to loved ones who have passed, being able to do so while they are still with us is so much more meaningful. I am sure your family member will be touched and appreciative.

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