Writing a thank-you, with a side of hurricane sympathy?
November 9, 2012 8:06 AM Subscribe
I've got a thank-you note to write to a friend of my parents'-- already quite late, since the gift was given early last month. Difficulty: since then, the recipient's house was damaged fairly badly by Hurricane Sandy, and she's been struggling with the aftermath. I feel like her current rough situation warrants some sort of extra gesture or comment beyond the usual thank-you boilerplate, but what might that be?
posted by Bardolph to human relations (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The giver here is a lifelong friend of my parents', and she's always been very sweet and generous to me. In early October, she sent us via my parents (she lives a couple states over) some very nice furniture she was getting rid of, plus some little gifts for my daughter. I had an unusually busy week, dropped the ball on the prompt thank-you, and since then have been doing the shame/procrastination spiral thing, which I really want to put a stop to by sending the note NOW.
The issue is that she had a very rough time in Hurricane Sandy (not catastrophic damage, but bad enough to be traumatizing, and their power's still out), which I feel means the note should contain not only thanks, but some element of comfort/sympathy. I'm not great at writing these things to begin with, and I have no idea what that sort of hybrid message would look like. ("Hey, meant to write sooner, sorry your house got flooded, but thanks so much for the awesome bookshelf?" Yuck.)
Alternatively, I guess I could just make the note thanks-only, with maybe a sympathy P.S., and send some sort of little tangible sympathy gift along with it. But what would that gift be? We're too far away to do anything actually helpful-- would people in a freezing-cold, generator-powered house appreciate flowers or a pack of homemade cookies?
I know MeFites are a supremely graceful and compassionate bunch, so I'm hoping someone with better social instincts than mine can make some suggestions here. As much specificity as possible (especially about the language I should use) would be especially wonderful, since I think uncertainty about what to write is what touches off the procrastination. And thanks, all, for helping me do the right thing!