My daughter visited this week and when she arrived she had a twinkle in her eye. She extended her hand and there was a card I had never seen. “I found this while I was cleaning and it’s from Grandma,” she said.

I sat on the couch in front of the fire and opened the card. I’ve re-read notes and letters from my mom many times since her death, but this was a message I hadn’t read before. The note was written just four months before she died and as I began to read, I could feel her love and pride in this wonderful grandchild.

It was a special moment for me, a time to relish my mom’s words and feel her love anew. But it was something else; a time to appreciate the thoughtfulness and love of this wonderful daughter.

I’ve thought of the note many times in the days that followed. What strikes me most is the language of the note; it could have been written by me! I had no idea how fully I had adopted my mom’s style of writing, her words and expressions of love and care. And it made me feel so good to know that her spirit lives within me and that she’s so much a part of who I am, each and every day.

Years ago I found a card from an aunt who had passed away. When I visited my cousin, her son, I brought it with me as she had shared some personal information. I now understand why he was so happy to get the card. If you have a note or letter in your possession or something special from a loved one that has passed away, you might really make someone’s day by sharing it, whether the original or a copy. How wonderful that words from long ago can continue to warm our hearts.

Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle StoreClick here to order.

Image via Flickr Creative Commons / Smabs Sputzer

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