Comforting Words

Ashley Barlev, Queens College Student

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Words With Friends. How apropos at this time, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Last October, as beloved friends and family dealt with the devastation caused by the storm, it became evident how powerful a simple note from a loved one could be to one who is suffering. Residents of Long Island and New York City received messages via Facebook, e-mail, and Twitter from people they had come into contact with throughout their lives – their parents whom they speak to everyday, their best friends from high school, and their bosses from their jobs six summers ago. According to some, writing is simply a tool used for academic purposes, but recently we have come to realize the effect it has on helping a community that has suffered greatly.

ComfortingWordsWriting has become a means of reaching out to friends in order to ensure that they are safe and to ease their suffering. Writing is more formal than verbal communication and 
requires more time and effort to relay an idea in a coherent way. A sympathy card showing up at your front door or a note in your inbox is more unexpected than a phone call. A beautifully written card has a unique way of adding light to a house of mourning or to the remains of a house that has been severely damaged by a hurricane.

“Five days, still no power.” “Hope you and your family are safe with relatively little material damage.” These emails and Facebook posts will forever remain with us, allowing New Yorkers to always remember the way we reached out to comfort one another during this difficult time.

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