Help with writing a letter please.

Health, well-being, medicine, aging.
User avatar
alanjh595
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 21945
Joined: Oct 20th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Help with writing a letter please.

Post by alanjh595 »

I was informed today that one of my neighbours has Leukemia, and his prognosis is less than 1 month.

This neighbor and I, have not liked each other or spoken for years. Now that he is dying, I would like to give him a letter to make both of us feel better.

I am having a great deal of difficulty wording a letter of condolences.

Can any of you "wordsmiths" help me out? I would appreciate it, greatly.

By PM would be great if you don't want to be known on these forums.
Bring back the LIKE button.
User avatar
Bsuds
The Wagon Master
Posts: 51423
Joined: Apr 21st, 2005, 10:46 am

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by Bsuds »

It's sad that he has to deal with this but the letter will only make you feel better and probably do nothing for him.

I would not do anything.
I might look normal but believe me, I talk to animals and wait for them to reply.
GordonH
Grumpy Old Bleep
Posts: 32963
Joined: Oct 4th, 2008, 7:21 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by GordonH »

I'm a believer in actions speak louder than words, also I don't seek out any acknowledgment of actions I may have done.

Chances are this doesn't help you.

Sorry to hear this about your neighbour.
I don't give a damn whether people/posters like me or dislike me, I'm not on earth to win any popularity contests.
birdsarentreal.com
TylerM4
Lord of the Board
Posts: 3630
Joined: Feb 27th, 2014, 3:22 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by TylerM4 »

The best letters are the ones that are genuine and come right from the heart. Word Smithing shouldn't be required. Just state what's on your mind and how you're feeling. If your intentions truly are good (sounds like it), they'll show through with whatever words you choose.

This is one of those times when a letter doesn't need to be professional, it doesn't need fancy wording, it just needs to be genuine.

If it helps, this may get you started:

"Dear Mr. Xxxxx",

I heard from xxxx that you've been diagnosed with leukemia and your prognosis is poor. We haven't gotten along in the past and have not spoken in over a year but I wanted to send this letter to let you know that I was very saddened by this news. I hope your prognosis changes and that you make a full recovery. Blah blah speak about what you actually want here. Why do you want to send this letter? What do you hope will happen if you send this letter, etc.
whatwhat
Lord of the Board
Posts: 3348
Joined: Sep 30th, 2009, 10:06 am

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by whatwhat »

I personally would just let it be. If your neighbour is wanting to make amends with people before they go, that should be on him. I get that you may want to make yourself feel better, but this may not be the time to be thinking about you.

If you two do not like each other, and haven't spoken in years I am sure the last thing he is wanting in this sad and stressful time is your sympathy.
hail Satan y'all
LANDM
Walks on Forum Water
Posts: 11577
Joined: Sep 18th, 2009, 11:58 am

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by LANDM »

I will give a dissenting opinion on this based on personal experience. I did the same thing a long time ago with a close family member who was a couple of days from death. As family often goes, we had not spoken for quite a while and I wrote a letter merely recognizing the distance that separated us for many years but recognizing that his life was a valuable and well lived one with his family etc.
I know for a fact that it made us both feel totally at peace with things.
The circumstances with the OP are different with a neighbour but differences don’t have to be permanent. If you feel that it is something that should be done, just recognize that there has been a distance but that you feel bad learning about the illness. Don’t dwell on past issues. Just ask if there is anything you can do to assist and leave it at that. If you don’t hear back, he probably has other things occupying his mind. If you do, follow up on the offer and totally forget what created the past issues.
You and 71 others Like this post
TylerM4
Lord of the Board
Posts: 3630
Joined: Feb 27th, 2014, 3:22 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by TylerM4 »

whatwhat wrote:I personally would just let it be. If your neighbour is wanting to make amends with people before they go, that should be on him. I get that you may want to make yourself feel better, but this may not be the time to be thinking about you.



Nope. I disagree with yourself and others expressing the same sentiment. Who cares if this is about OP rather than the neighbor? Why shouldn't the OP write a letter if he wants to get something off his chest? People need to take care of their own mental health and if that means writing a harmless letter then why not?

What's the worst that'll happen? The neighbor says "Nope. F that guy" and throws the letter in the trash? Are you under the impression that a letter expressing sympathy and perhaps extending the olive branch is somehow going to cause anxiety and harm the neighbor?
User avatar
alanjh595
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 21945
Joined: Oct 20th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by alanjh595 »

Bsuds wrote:It's sad that he has to deal with this but the letter will only make you feel better and probably do nothing for him.
I would not do anything.


Point taken, I understand. Thank you.

YES, it is probably for my benefit, more than his.
Bring back the LIKE button.
User avatar
alanjh595
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 21945
Joined: Oct 20th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by alanjh595 »

TylerM4 wrote:The best letters are the ones that are genuine and come right from the heart. Word Smithing shouldn't be required. Just state what's on your mind and how you're feeling. If your intentions truly are good (sounds like it), they'll show through with whatever words you choose.

This is one of those times when a letter doesn't need to be professional, it doesn't need fancy wording, it just needs to be genuine.

If it helps, this may get you started:

"Dear Mr. Xxxxx",

I heard from xxxx that you've been diagnosed with leukemia and your prognosis is poor. We haven't gotten along in the past and have not spoken in over a year but I wanted to send this letter to let you know that I was very saddened by this news. I hope your prognosis changes and that you make a full recovery. Blah blah speak about what you actually want here. Why do you want to send this letter? What do you hope will happen if you send this letter, etc.


As Sudsy said, "it's about me", and he is right.
AND so are you with:
Why do you want to send this letter? What do you hope will happen if you send this letter, etc


I hope to gain nothing except, clearing my conscience and maybe........making his passing easier for him.
Again.....this is very difficult, I feel (I don't know what word to use), pity, sorrow, sympathy, empathy, this is a tough one.

Just like I don't know how to feel about my Mom with severe Alzheimer's/Dementia and in a home. It's hard to watch, it's even harder to be an active participant when she doesn't know that I am her son.

Just too many things happening, and not knowing how to deal with any of them, it's overwhelming.
Bring back the LIKE button.
User avatar
kgcayenne
Walks on Forum Water
Posts: 14567
Joined: Aug 10th, 2005, 6:35 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by kgcayenne »

It is quite touching to receive validation no matter how long after the fact. Make your peace, do what you can to support the neighbor’s kin.
"without knowledge, he multiplies mere words."
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids.
whatwhat
Lord of the Board
Posts: 3348
Joined: Sep 30th, 2009, 10:06 am

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by whatwhat »

TylerM4 wrote:Nope. I disagree with yourself and others expressing the same sentiment. Who cares if this is about OP rather than the neighbor? Why shouldn't the OP write a letter if he wants to get something off his chest? People need to take care of their own mental health and if that means writing a harmless letter then why not?

What's the worst that'll happen? The neighbor says "Nope. F that guy" and throws the letter in the trash? Are you under the impression that a letter expressing sympathy and perhaps extending the olive branch is somehow going to cause anxiety and harm the neighbor?


That's great you disagree! Clearly we disagreed because we made opposing points! You are open to do that, and obviously shared your opinion, and then I did the same.

As for your last paragraph, who knows how a letter from a neighborhood foe could impact the person. We know nothing of why these 2 people don't like each other, and haven't spoken in years. He is someone who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and given 1 month to live. I am sure that is a very stressing, sad time. I am sure he is grieving in whatever why he needs with his family, friends and other loved one. You speak about mental health, but seem to forget about the mental health of the person who is dying. Contacting the person could cause added stress, and anxiety to the person which I personally would not want to cause for someone in that situation.
hail Satan y'all
User avatar
alanjh595
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 21945
Joined: Oct 20th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by alanjh595 »

After everyone's kind and compassionate PMs, I have decided that the best thing to do is "nothing".

By me sending a letter, would only be self serving. It would be better that I express my condolences to the widow, after the fact.

I want to thank all of you that have helped me come to this conclusion via PMs.
You have all been very helpful.

THANK YOU
Bring back the LIKE button.
TylerM4
Lord of the Board
Posts: 3630
Joined: Feb 27th, 2014, 3:22 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by TylerM4 »

alanjh595 wrote:As Sudsy said, "it's about me", and he is right.
AND so are you with:

I hope to gain nothing except, clearing my conscience and maybe........making his passing easier for him.
Again.....this is very difficult, I feel (I don't know what word to use), pity, sorrow, sympathy, empathy, this is a tough one.

Just like I don't know how to feel about my Mom with severe Alzheimer's/Dementia and in a home. It's hard to watch, it's even harder to be an active participant when she doesn't know that I am her son.

Just too many things happening, and not knowing how to deal with any of them, it's overwhelming.


I had suspected this was the case. Not knowing how to act upon or handle your feelings is common for many of us. This might be one of those cases where writing a letter can help get that out, even if it's a letter you never actually send.

My only recommendation is to check the ego at the door, drop the "men must be manly and can never cry" stereotypes, and try to be honest with yourself and your feelings. Put aside your pride and admit to yourself that you were wrong or acted inappropriately if that's the case. Long story short - you're conflicted, your not sure why, and it's weighing on you. If you can, turn your brain off and let the thoughts and feelings flow out of you uninhibited. Then analyze them to see if you can make sense of it.

It's healthy, we should all do this more. It helps us to better understand ourselves and grow.
User avatar
alanjh595
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 21945
Joined: Oct 20th, 2017, 5:18 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by alanjh595 »

It was JUST the wording of a letter........not some sociological/ psychological dilemma.

Through the multitude of PMs offering advice, I have recognized their wisdom and have made my decision, as posted above.
Bring back the LIKE button.
Grandan
Grand Pooh-bah
Posts: 2738
Joined: Aug 14th, 2007, 4:05 pm

Re: Help with writing a letter please.

Post by Grandan »

alanjh595 wrote:I was informed today that one of my neighbours has Leukemia, and his prognosis is less than 1 month.

This neighbor and I, have not liked each other or spoken for years. Now that he is dying, I would like to give him a letter to make both of us feel better.

I am having a great deal of difficulty wording a letter of condolences.

Can any of you "wordsmiths" help me out? I would appreciate it, greatly.

By PM would be great if you don't want to be known on these forums.


I am with you on writing a letter.
I would simply suggest that your relationship had not turned out as positively as you would have liked and that you held no ill will toward him. Say that you feel awful that his health has taken a turn for the worst and that you hope that he can can find peace in his life.
I am guessing that you have been in your family home for a long time and your relationship with the neighbour goes back a long time and that in itself can lead to disagreements that can fester into something bigger.
Some things that are perceived as disagreements are often misunderstandings.
if it comes from your heart and it is truly what you believe you can't go wrong in writing a letter of support.
If he cannot accept your goodwill then there is little you can do. At least you made the effort.
Waste not

Return to “Health”