Features Friday, May 08, 2015 - 05:30
At times, a simple "Get Well Soon" card is enough to cheer up a friend, family member or even colleague in poor health and make them feel better. But what do you say to someone suffering from a serious ailment, like a terminal or mental illness or someone who has been through a tragedy recently?  People may fall short of words to communicate, or worse, say all the wrong things. Not everyone who is sick wants to be sympathised with or be given unreal assurances.  Designer and illustrator Emily McDowell recently launched a collection of cards called “Empathy Cards” that come with candid and humourous messages. They have been designed to give to people with serious illness or to those suffering.  McDowell on her blog writes, “I created this collection of empathy cards for serious illness because I believe we need some better, more authentic ways to communicate about sickness and suffering. ‘Get well soon’ cards don’t make sense when someone might not.” She adds, “Sympathy cards can make people feel like you think they’re already dead. A ‘f**k cancer’ card is a nice sentiment, but when I had cancer, it never really made me feel better. And I never personally connected with jokes about being bald or getting a free boob job, which is what most ‘cancer cards’ focus on.” The collection has been received positively so far with the demand for purchase being “unexpectedly high”. (All images source: emilymcdowell.com)

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