Refreshingly ‘authentic’ empathy cards receiving rave reviews

TORONTO — Have you ever been at a loss for words when a loved one has been sick or suffering? And the traditional sympathy card just felt wrong? Well, you’re not alone.

Cancer survivor Emily McDowell, who experienced the other side of that awkwardness, recently came out with her own line of empathy cards to help remedy it.

McDowell was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 24. On her blog, the young designer wrote that the toughest part of her illness — which included nine months of chemo and radiation — was not the hair loss “or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas.

“It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.”

She felt people needed “better, more authentic ways to communicate about sickness and suffering,” since “‘Get well soon’ cards don’t make sense when someone might not.”

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“With Empathy Cards, my goal is to help people connect with each other through truth and insight…I want the recipients of these cards to feel seen, understood, and loved.”

McDowell added that the collection is one of the most important things she’s designed so far. It’s received plenty of praise on social media since its release last week.

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You can see McDowell’s full Empathy Card collection here.

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