Correspondence with families after the death of their child is very difficult. It doesn’t take long before we as hospital staff get very attached to patients and their loved ones, even if they are only at the hospital for a day. We grow to love the kids we take care of over years.

One of the practices we have been building is that of writing notes to families several times in the first year after the death of their child. As you can imagine, finding the words to communicate what we feel towards these families can be challenging. This is where the outpouring of the Share Joy campaign has been so helpful. I often reach for a blank card because then I can write something personal to a family, a memory of their child or a hope for their life right now. What is so wonderful is that even if my words aren’t just what a family needs they are delivered on a card that was so clearly made with love and creativity that the message of being cherished shines through.

Recently I ran into a mother in the halls of the hospital a few weeks after she received a card from me. She said, “That card was beautiful. Did you make it?”  I explained that Taylored Expressions provides cards through their Share Joy campaign and that they are made by very caring people who put a lot of compassion and hope into them. She said, “You have no idea how badly I needed that card that day.”

Thank you so much for giving us a vehicle to remind our bereaved families that their children are remembered and that they are in our thoughts and prayers. Being able to share these beautiful cards is an honor and endows our care with profound warmth.

Eric Johnson, MDiv, BCC
Spiritual Care
Blank Children’s Hospital