Letter to an Elder

a handwritten letter on a desk with a pair of glasses, text reads Letter to an Elder, a simple guide to handwriting letter to an older generation

While the written word tends to be a gift to anyone on the receiving end, it is often especially meaningful to the older generation. Younger generations text, snapchat, and facebook message the way the older generations picked up the telephone for a call, or sent a letter in the mail. If you are looking for a way to connect and show an elder in your life a little extra love, sending a note is a wonderful way to do it. Let's break it down:


You. Your kids. Maybe your partner. You could do it together, or individually. Perhaps there is a beloved grandparent or parent that would smile from receiving a note. Maybe you are lucky enough to have been loved by someone you aren't related to by blood, but your soul surely knows it's been parented and cared for by that person. Did you know that you can be a pen pal with a person in a nursing home? What a beautiful opportunity for the gift of connection for both of you. 

small child writing with a fountain pen with ink blotches on their fingers


A letter; a simple note. 


Now. If you must wait, tonight, or maybe tomorrow. Put it in your calendar so you don't forget. Life is fleeting, and the days go by fast. So take a moment and pause. Create space for that special person that would easily get pushed off just one more day--an older person who has seen a tremendous amount of change in the way we communicate and navigate life, and reach out with a handwritten note. 

a desk top holding a basket with stamps, a card, a pair of reading glasses, a lamp and a cup of coffee


It doesn't have to be long and involved or terribly overwhelming. Grab a buttery piece of stationary or a card with a design that will make them smile, and your favorite pen. Sit at the table and consider what you treasure about them. Tell them. Share with them the wonderful things happening in your world, and ask them what is happening in theirs. If your kiddo is writing to an elder, have them share three things that make them happy each day, or something they are grateful for. And if you have a elderly pen pal, be sure to ask good questions.

a stack of handwritten letters on white lined paper

Here are some examples of fun questions:

  • What are the best parts of your day?
  • What are some of your favorite memories from your teenage years?
  • If you could do dinner with anyone in the world who has ever lived, who would it be?
  • Is there a place you would want to live for a month, other than where you are?  

Then, send it.

red and blue mailbox attached to a wooden pole

Pop it in the mail, and know that you just added some joy to another person's life, and most likely, your life is better for it. The problems of the world can seem big and overwhelming, but making the world a bit brighter for another person isn't, so share some love and send a note. Need something to write in? Find a note card that strikes your fancy, and spread a little love today. 

If you feel stuck and need a bit more help writing your note, check out the blog Simple Card Writing Tips here

a brown paper envelope hanging from a string. Text reads Simple Card Writing Tips & Prompts for when you don't know what to say


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