Monday, January 26, 2015

The Lost Art of The Thank You Note

Most people are back to their normal routines following the holidays and New Year’s.  The gifts have been given and received, but have the Thank You notes been written?  When I was a child, Thank You notes had to be written within a few days of receiving a gift.  According to my mother, if someone cared enough about you to take their time and spend their hard earned money to select and purchase a gift for you, you had a responsibility to thank them.  She felt this was especially important when you received a gift in the mail because how would that person even know you had received the gift.  Today, it appears that many people do not write Thank You notes which I think deprives the gift giver of some special attention for caring about you on your special day or holiday. Furthermore, today there are so many ways to thank someone.  If you do not want to write out a Thank You note the old fashioned way and send it by “snail mail”, a Thank You e-mail or even a Thank You phone text still acknowledges the other person.  Most of us like to receive some form of recognition for our efforts.  We recently sent a wedding gift through a store wedding registry as we were unable to attend the wedding.  To date, several months later, we still have not received a Thank You note and we do not know if they received the gift we purchased or if they received it in one piece?  It would have really been nice to get a brief note.  Over the holidays, I was also amazed at how many people were sent gifts that were never acknowledged.  I was discussing this with some friends and it was interesting to hear some of their opinions.  One friend shared that if she did not receive some form of Thank You, she no longer sent that person gifts in the future.  Another friend would call and ask the person if they received the gift and whether or not they liked it.  A third friend told us that she stopped sending gifts, but would continue to send cards to celebrate the occasion.  A couple of friends said they just continued to send the gifts if the recipient was a child but stopped sending gifts after graduation from High School.  The general theme here is that people were hurt to not be thanked and recognized.  Let’s all remember this the next time we receive a gift.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Grieving Over The Loss of Your Pet

     Recently, a very close friend experienced the death of her beloved dog.  She asked me to write a blog about coping with the loss.  For many of us, a pet becomes a family member and loved as another child in the family.  We choose the right name for them, the right veterinarian, the food we feed them, the toys we buy for them, and sometimes, we even send them to school.  If we have to leave without them, we decide on who is the best person to take care of them.  We want our pets to be happy, content, and well cared for.  In exchange, our pets give us unconditional love and approval.  When our pet dies, many people feel as though a part of them has died as well.  However, unlike when a person in our lives die, some people may not understand our grief and expect us to get over it.  Grieving any loss takes time.  You may have moments and days when you feel strong and able to function without feeling so sad and then unexpectedly, get slammed with an onslaught of grief that is overwhelming.  Allow yourself to feel what you feel and then force yourself to go back to whatever you were doing.  Remember, your pet loved you unconditionally and even in death, would want you to be happy. 
Your pet had a good life with you no matter their age at death, and certainly better than many animals and even some people.  Many people often express feelings of guilt after a pet has died, thinking about things they did not do or regretting things that they did do, such as yelling at a pet or not giving them attention when they wanted it.  No one is perfect, not even your pet.   The important point is that you loved each other and were better for it.  Many people wonder if they should get another pet.  That is an individual or family decision and do not allow yourself to be pushed in either direction by a well-meaning person in your life.  You know if you want another pet or if you want to wait or if you want a different kind of pet.  Even if you get another pet, they will not replace the pet you lost, but will have their own place in your heart.  Their presence will be missed greatly, but life is for the living and just like you wanted the best for your pet, your pet wanted the best for you, which is the essence of unconditional love.

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