I have written before about the Hard-to-Write Letter and the letters that allow one to get things off their chest and move on. Letters that you might write to an ex-husband, a deceased friend or relative or a letter you might write to someone who you feel has wronged you.
Although this blog focuses on writing letters and the joy you can bring to another by sending a letter, I hadn't really put much thought into the experience of someone who receives the Hard-to-Write Letter until I received a letter this week that contained a few paragraphs that were Hard-to-Read.
The good thing is that while this letter was in transit, the writer had called me and we had discussed many of the things written in this letter. But once I received the letter and saw the words on paper, I was hit with all kinds of emotions. Perhaps these letters are therapeutic to the writer but not so much to the recipient. I want to be clear that the letter was not a sharing of feelings between the writer and I directly but more of a letter of concern regarding myself and another person. It was the assumptions and the miscommunications that preceded this letter that made my blood boil. And what does one do with that? I suppose writing a letter back expressing my perspective and clarifying the misconceptions of the situation might have helped. But, honestly, I needed instant resolution and even email wasn't going to cut it.
I picked up the phone and talked with the writer for quite a while and thanked them for the phone call prior to my receiving the letter as I am not sure how I would have reacted had I had no warning of the contents of the letter. I suppose if one is writing to really "give it to someone" who has wronged them then they're not going to care so much about the recipient's feelings. This was a different scenario but had me considering the importance of how and what I write to someone I care about. The writer of this letter is a dear friend and she meant no harm whatsoever. Her intention was to inform me of a situation that I was supposedly involved in. Had I been made aware of this solely through the letter, it would have been very difficult.
Letters are awesome in most situations but some situations warrant a phone call or a face-to-face conversation, indeed.