Hi guys! As I’ve said here before, I was BLOWN AWAY by the degree to which our Empathy Cards™ resonated with people when we released them in May. Just absolutely floored, and so grateful to be able to make this kind of meaningful contribution to the world using ideas that were once just living in my brain. Of course, because I’m kind of cuckoo and self-critical and also a human (I think this true for a lot of us) whenever people really like something I do, I immediately freak out about the possibility that I might never do anything that good ever again and WHAT IF THIS IS IT AND ALL MY BEST IDEAS ARE BEHIND ME? So you can probably imagine how sitting down to write another round was slightly intimidating, to say the least. I am really, really happy and relieved to report that I survived the process, and that I actually think some of these new cards are even stronger than the first ones. We had so much customer feedback to consider when creating these – something we didn’t have the first round -- and I wanted to make sure I honored that, while also making sure I was writing from a real place, AND that they were good, creatively speaking.
It was also important to me to include something that directly addressed mental health; I don’t talk about this a whole lot, but I’ve suffered from major depression on and off for almost 30 years, so this is another topic that’s close to me personally.
I also wanted to do more cards that were applicable to chronic/long-term illness, which is how these came about. I remember my oncologist saying the "marathon/sprint" thing to me, and although it's an apt metaphor, having to run in general freaking sucks.
I worked on a lot of ideas specific to grief and loss, but after a few weeks, I still just wasn’t loving a lot of what I was writing. So I reached out to Nora McInerny Purmort, who is one of the best writers I know, and who also lost her husband Aaron to brain cancer in November of 2014. The next time you have three hours in which to laugh and cry, you should check out Nora’s blog, My Husband’s Tumor, where she began chronicling their lives after Aaron’s diagnosis in 2011. I say you’ll need three hours because you will not be able to stop reading. I promise. By the time you look up from the computer, it'll basically be Valentine's Day. BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
Anyway, Nora wrote this Five Stages card, which I think is just great, and she’ll be writing more in the future. Right now, on top of working her regular job and being a mom and figuring out how to navigate life as a young widow, she's learning how to run a nonprofit, Still Kickin, and waiting patiently for her book, This Is Not A Sad Love Song, to come out this spring. Thank you all, again, for all of your encouragement and support around these. If you feel moved to share one or more of these photos on social media, use the hashtag #empathycards so we can find you!
Much love and appreciation,