Emily McDowell designs greeting cards for family and close friends of cancer patients. The messages are blunt and direct. As a former cancer patient herself now in remission, the designer got irritated when her close circle stop visiting and calling her because they didn’t know what to tell her.
She is making things simple by putting the right words on a sentiment which is most of the time sincere and honest but comes out awkward to the patient. Loneliness and solitude is, according to Emily McDowell the most difficult part of the illness to endure. Despite the loss of hair, fatigue and the heavy medical treatments, loosing friends and family members as a support system because they are having a hard time verbalizing encouragements and empathy is painful.
In a digital world where motivational quotes are spread out through Instagram and Facebook, these make a difference because they are palpable and create a direct connection between friends, family members and the receiver.
Emily McDowell’s ‘Empathy Cards’ are available at her online shop.
These have gone viral, McDowell has been on NPR and on various other media with her cards. Here’s a follow-up to the events that followed her creations’ debut.