Other than a few addresses I'm waiting for from your brothers, the thank you cards are complete.
There were just over 200 that I sent out. I used a direct mail company and created a postcard with a photo of Audrey on the front and back. I knew I'd never get to sitting and writing out cards and that what I had to say was basically the same for everyone.
I signed the card "Hope and Love, Julia and Audrey" referencing the "faith, hope and love" in the Bible, but I've skipped to the hope and love.
I know I didn't need to send thank you's...if anyone would be unhappy with me for not sending one, they certainly wouldn't be someone I'd want to keep in my circle anyway. Although it's always nice to receive a thank you, giving, real giving is never about the thank you...it's best in fact, when it's unanimous. To love without return...this is the hardest thing to do.
Some friends told me not to worry. Another young widow told me she never did and just had to let go of others' expectations of her.
Going through the stacks of cards and then the excel sheet of those who gave online was a necessary part of my process. It was both painful and comforting to see the characters of our life through the cards and donations.
I wrote the thank you's because I knew you'd be happy to have all of your friends see that photo of Audrey. I wrote them because anything attached to you- and this is one of the few administrative things, must be done well, with beauty and grace. I sent them to honor you...in a way I was not prepared to do, but is important just the same. I sent them so that just for a few minutes- maybe out of nowhere for those who receive them seven months after your death, people would be thinking of Daniel Cho again. I took my time writing them in batches over the past few months hunting down addresses I didn't have-- figuring I'd do it after the holiday so they wouldn't get mixed in with those cards- and this left me thinking that all together for the past few months, people all over the country and world were thinking of you as they received them.
Another item on my to-do list- the one that is carrying me through this hole of a year- done.