When Words Are Not Enough: Hallmark Cards Target Suicide, Illness And Infertility

Posted on July 3, 2013 in Specials

By Lata Jha: 

There is something inexplicably special about the real, tangible world. Even as we stand in obeisance to the Internet age, there is a little something inside most of us that still prefers touch and feel over the click of a mouse button. It’s important to feel your loved ones close to you, once in a while, as you open their letters, or write to them yourself. That is something an e-card will possibly never achieve.

Greeting card giant Hallmark is preparing to roll out some bold new messages in 2014, including cards that take on tough topics like terminal illness. One, for instance, reads, “Our paths came together in this life. You’re in some of the best memories I have and you always will be.”


Hallmark is no stranger to trying out the unusual. Fifteen years ago it had rolled out its first suicide condolence cards, to offer sympathy for “when someone we love flees from life.” Six years ago, the card company introduced its “Journeys” line of messages for issues like depression, eating disorders, and cancer. Consumers at a loss for words over a friend’s miscarriage or infertility could also pick up a greeting to say, “I know how much a child would mean to you. I’m still hoping and believing for you.”

Hallmark, by the way, still offers “cancer support” cards with messages that promise “Cancer is not who you are — it’s what’s happening to you.” The company says this move has been spurred by research it has conducted with grief counsellors. There are cards for every occasion. From tough times, to chronic illness to a family member’s death. You could probably have trouble believing a stranger who’s never seen you reaches out to you by writing a couple of sentences that he’s being paid for. But cards are often more than hackneyed pieces of the commercialisation model. They are unforgettable memories, of time that has either swished by or made its impact felt fully. They are great companions and wonderful friends, often in circumstances, that we refuse to accept.

You could take it as you like, but the truth is, cards are very much, bits of ourselves. Emotional, loving and a little, dramatic.Whe