A little over a year ago my eldest “graduated” from graduate school, but there was no graduation then. Graduation was moved to September, but that didn’t happen either. Now my youngest is graduating from college, a milestone that I’d hoped I wouldn’t miss, but only students will attend graduation while we watch over Zoom.
We’ve all missed celebrating events like graduations, weddings, birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in person over this last year, and we expected that we’d be able to go back to “normal” by now. We’re not there, but we’re getting there. There’s hope.
We can’t control missing these kinds of milestones, but we can still celebrate them.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are right around the corner, school graduations are as well. My Dad’s 95th birthday is in May, and I bet you have some milestone birthdays coming up too. How can you celebrate the people in your life from a distance and let them know and feel your love, support, joy for their achievements?
Write a letter. Yes, a letter.
I cherish deep conversations and appreciate immediate communication, but letters have something different to offer. When you write a letter, you can take the time to think through what you want to say. What do you really want your child, parent or friend to know at this moment? What stories, values, and words of wisdom and love do you want to share right now? Writing gives you time to sort through that and think about how to say what you want to say. And a letter makes it easier for your reader to “hear” what you’re saying.
Your words have lasting power. Because they’re written down, your reader can come back to them when they need advice or just a reminder that somebody believes in them and thinks they’re great.
I’ve written many letters to my kids to support them and to share values, stories, and love. And our relationships are stronger and our connections deeper as a result. And, I love knowing that if they’re having a bad day they can pull out the letters and feel supported and loved wherever they are.
The main thing I’ve learned from writing these kinds of letters is that the letters have a lasting impact. Your words will be there to support your reader through good AND hard experiences and show them your deep love and admiration.
Want some help writing letters from your heart for celebrations, holidays or to deepen connections with people you love? Here are some resources: