Hannah Brencher’s mother always wrote her letters. So when she felt herself bottom into depression at college, she did what felt natural. She wrote love letters and left them for strangers to find. The act has become a global initiative, ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ which rushes handwritten letters to those in need of a boost. She delivered a TED talk on the project last year.
Tremendous amount of unexpected kindness has come my way over the last year. This time last year my son’s Bipolar illness was showing us it’s ugly face. My elderly parents had the misfortune of witnessing it at its worst. It was traumatic for them but they were patient and kind.
When I wanted to get away from London for a few days, friends of friends in Bournemouth hosted me for a weekend. I had never met them before. They were good listeners and very generous with their time. I will never forget their humanity.
Another friend took me out on a cycling trip by the seaside as he knew it would cheer me up like nothing else could. So thoughtful!
Since my son’s death, so many people have reached out to me through cards, letters, notes, visits, e-mails, songs, sharing his pictures and videos. All of them mean so much to me. Each one is so special that I feel like framing them and covering all the walls of the house with them.
“What was that thought?” asked my partner.
“What thought?” said I.
“The one that just ran across your face.” said he.
He knows when I don’t speak about something that is important to me. He can tell because he puts his attention on me. He knows I don’t want to be someone who constantly needs cheering up or talks about the same thing or makes pathetic company. That stops me from sharing my thoughts all the time.
He cares enough to notice these small things.
I am grateful beyond words.
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change. Kindness that catches us by surprise brings out the best in our natures.” – Bob Kerrey