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A bundle of joy & some heartbreaking news with printable sympathy cards

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Download this set of three free printable sympathy cards!

To say this past week or so has been an emotional roller coaster ride, is somewhat of an understatement. We started the month of April off anticipating the arrival of our grandson. We welcomed our grandson into the world and he is an absolute perfect bundle of joy, sweetness and love.

Then this past weekend we received some heartbreaking news. Threefold. But, first, let’s focus on the good news.

A Bundle of Joy

Our daughter Stephanie lives in Florida with her little family. Her due date was April 6th. She had her normal doctor’s visit on the 4th and he decided that if she hadn’t had the baby by the 6th, he would induce. Then our phone rings and the reality of giving birth to a baby hits our daughter.

Our original plan was to wait until Friday to make the drive from Ohio to Florida. We already had our bags packed and ready to head out as soon as we got the word that either her water had broke or she was definitely in labor. Neither of those happened. In an effort to try to be there for her during the labor and delivery process, we threw our bags in the car and were out the door in no time.

After working all day, then traveling through the night, we finally stopped to rest about 3:30 in the morning. Then my cell phone rings at 5:30 and it’s Stephanie. She was calling to tell us her water broke and she was headed to the hospital. So, we woke ourselves up and got back on the road.

We literally arrived at the hospital just a couple of hours after Dante was born. Mom and baby both did great. I’m not sure how she could deliver a baby without the grandparents being there, but she managed!

Dante weighed just under 8 lbs and was 20” long. He’s just a perfect little newborn baby boy. In fact, as I sit here typing and telling you about him, I swear I can smell his newborn scent some 800 miles away.

Our visit to Florida soon came to an end, but we did take the opportunity to spend some time with our 15 year old grandson, too. The weather was crappy. I think we took some of this crappy Ohio winter weather with us. Florida had record rainfalls and cold temps – go figure! Nonetheless, we had a great time.

We left Florida and thought we would take the scenic route up the Eastern coast on our way home. Maybe we’d even run into some sunshine and warmer temps along the way. That didn’t happen. Instead, my sciatica raised its ugly head and we ended up taking a trip to the urgent care in South Carolina.

We were just so glad to finally make it home and sleep in our own bed!

Some Heartbreaking News

Early Sunday morning on April 15th, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law. As she began talking to me to inform my husband and I that her husband had suffered a massive heart attack, was taken to OSU, and they were unable to revive him, I knew what I was hearing, but my mind could barely comprehend.

My husband was asleep and I had to wake him to give him the heartbreaking news about his brother. Lenny was totally shocked at the news and it just broke my heart even more to have to share such sad news with him. The look of disbelief, shock and grief hung on his face and I felt responsible for being the bearer of the bad news.

Lenny’s brother’s name is Mark Baker. He was a very young 54 year old husband, father of two, brother, uncle, cousin, son-in-law, brother-in-law, colleague, friend and musician. His circle of influence is absolutely staggering. The number of lives he touched is staggering. He’s shared the stage with the likes of James Earl Jones and performed as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony. Not to mention the countless number of students that graced his classroom as the voice professor in the Conservatory of Music at Capital University.

Mark’s passing has left us all in a state of shock and disbelief. As we work our way through the grieving process, we try to draw strength from one another and focus on the legacy of love, family, humor and music that Mark brought into our family and the people who were fortunate enough to know him.

More heartbreaking news…

As we were placing phone calls to family and friends informing them of our loss, we spoke to our friends in Ontario where Lenny and Mark’s family has been vacationing every summer for over 50 years. Talking to our dear friends, we were informed that one of our friend’s lost her son on the French River in a snowmobile accident on the 14th.

Our heart truly goes out to the Leduc family in this tragedy.

We also heard through our daughter (aka Sailor Girl) that a co-worker of hers just lost their 2 year old son to leukemia. We don’t even know this young family, but my heart instantly broke for their loss. How do you handle a loss so deep? Unthinkable.

Printable Sympathy Cards

Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage

When I am stressed, sad or worried, I make things. I clean the house like crazy. I bake. I cook. I sew. I de-clutter. But, since my sciatica is preventing me from being as active as I like to be, I’m crocheting and working on my tablet. One of the things I created was this set of printable sympathy cards. You can request to download them below:

Although I have some watercolor daisy themed sympathy cards (you can find them in my Etsy shop), I wanted something a little different that I could have on hand to send out at a moment’s notice. Because, my dear friends, heartbreaking news can occur at any moment. Better to be prepared for those moments while we can.

Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage
Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage
Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage
Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage

The printable sentiment reads:

We can’t imagine the sadness you must be feeling from your loss. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.

This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at absolutely no additional cost to you! 

Before you can send out these sympathy cards, you will need a few supplies, like:

Having your supplies together really does make the process go so much smoother.

What to Write in a Sympathy Card

Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage

What do you write in a sympathy card? I don’t know that there’s a right thing to say. No magical words to take away the pain. It’s truly a case of the thought that counts. The mere fact that you thought enough to send a condolence or word of encouragement, can make all the difference.

I must say, though, there are things I try not to say because, to be honest, I don’t find them quite comforting. I remember when my mom passed away when I was only 18 and well-meaning people kept telling me that my mom was in a better place. Did they realize they were telling a child that her mother was better off without her? I know that’s not what they meant, bu that’s truly what I heard.

Shutterfly® has actually done a great job of providing some sentiments that you can use in sympathy cards. They also offer some advice (that I totally agree with) on what not to say. I had shared some holiday sentiments courtesy of Shutterfly with you last November. So, I don’t know why I was surprised to find they offered some great ideas for writing sympathy messages. By the way, I feel like I have to disclose that I was in no way approached, compensated or invited by Shutterfly to sing their praises. I like their product. I have actually used them in the past and I recommend them because I believe in them. The opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Printable sympathy cards from The Birch Cottage

Writing a sympathy card is never an easy task, no matter how well you know the recipient. Just be sure to use your own good judgement, refer to the examples and write from the heart. I hope this set of free printable sympathy cards will make sending condolences a little easier.

Til next time…

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Thursday 26th of April 2018

Apologies due to the late reply.. So very sorry on you and your families loss, I hope in due time you find peace.. Congratulations on your newest addition to your family, enjoy the little guy as time seems to be flying by.. Thoughts and Love to you and yours!!

Pamela Baker

Friday 27th of April 2018

Thank you, Mae, so much for your kind words of encouragement. We are taking things one day at a time and truly trying to focus on the positive.


Thursday 19th of April 2018

Hugs and prayers. Celebrating with you in the birth of another precious grandchild. They certainly bring joy to our lives. I also grieve with you in the loss of your brother-in-law. I love you more than words can express my precious sister.


Thursday 19th of April 2018

Pam and family, I’m so sorry to be reading such sad and unexplainable news. My “Why!” Is always unanswered. Reading your writing made me wish I had been able to meet such an outstanding and loved family member. Isn’t it always a shame such a truly great person leaves before you have a chance to meet and learn so much from them. Why the other loved ones are no longer with us to share with them and from them is another one of the great mysteries. Your writing always reminds me that there were people who made a difference even if for such a short time. Blessings and prayers will be coming your way. Sincerely, Alicia

Jeannie Engel

Wednesday 18th of April 2018

Pam first of all Congratulations on a beautiful baby grandson. Children remind us how fragile life is but so beautiful to hold. Secondly, I am saddened by your loss especially 3 times over. Words are so hard to use at this time of grieving. I would just like to send hugs and sympathy to all those involved and you all are in my prayers for strength, comfort and Gods love at this time. May you take as much time as you need to heal and know that I'm thinking of you and your family. <3

Pamela Baker

Monday 23rd of April 2018

Thank, Jeannie, for your kind words! It truly is such a bittersweet time for our family. As always, we try to focus on the positive. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your words of encouragement with my family!

Christy Roppel

Wednesday 18th of April 2018

So sad and sorry to hear of these losses. You have shared your grief so eloquently! I pray you will have God's strength to deal with this very difficult time.

Pamela Baker

Wednesday 18th of April 2018

Thanks, Christy. I’m kind of at a loss for words. Thank you for your kindness. It really means so much!

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