Title: There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say And Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, And Unfair To People You Love
Authors: Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell
When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell’s immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation. –Goodreads.com
Why did you choose to read this book?
In the past year I have seen people I love and care about lose people they love and care about five times. Each time I felt helpless in the face of their loss, unable to think of anything I could say or do that would make the person feel even incrementally better. I was also afraid of saying something wrong and somehow making them feel worse than they already did. This state of uncertainty and powerlessness made me feel like a bad friend/daughter/coworker and I didn’t like it.
So, as I tend to do, I found a book to apply to the problem. And this book delivered.
What did you like about it?
I liked that this book actually did what it set out to do since I was skeptical when I picked it up. It comforted me while explaining how to best be comforting to others. There are helpful tips on various situations with background on why these things are helpful. They have a ton of examples and it’s written very conversationally with lots of graphics so it never feels overwhelming. They also have the book laid out in such a way that you can skip directly to the Just Help Me Not Be A Disaster section to find concrete dos and don’ts when talking to someone going through a crisis. All this and the book managed to sprinkle in some funny bits as well!
What feeling did the book leave you with?
I finished this book feeling more confident about my ability to support someone. And, a clearer idea of what I’m willing to do to support them. There are a variety of available support roles to someone going through a hard time and I was able to identify the roles I feel like I would be best at filling. The book also left me feeling like I will be able help my friends and family in the future with more grace than I have in the past.
Who would you recommend the book to?
Everyone. Unless you’re some kind of interpersonal relationship savant, then maybe you could skip it. But, really, the holidays are coming up and chances are we all know someone who had something bad happen to them in the past year. What do you say? Do you mention it? Do you say the stock “I’m sorry” and leave it at that? Would even bringing it up make things awkward? Will they think you don’t care if you don’t bring it up? What if they are the ones who bring it up? This book can help you figure out the answers to what to say in each situation and that is valuable for both you and the person you’re talking to.
What would you pair this book with?
This book would go well with a good hug and a hearty casserole of your choice.