Sympathy, the Check are in the mail…

September 26, 2006

So, a couple days after Grandma’s funeral, my mom is opening the mail, which consists mainly of sympathy cards. She opens one from my sister’s in-laws, and out falls a check for twenty-five dollars.

Mom was confused at first, because her birthday was that same week, but when she checked the front of the card again, sure enough it said “Sorry for your loss.”

How prevalent is this practice? My friend April had much the same experience after the death of her great-grandfather, except she got multiple cards with five bucks in each of them.

I could make some jokes about this, but for once I’ll take the high road out of respect for the sympathisers in question. I was just not aware that it was customary to send cash in the case of death.

One thing I will make fun of: giving Wal-Mart gift cards as gifts. That’s like saying, “Happy Birthday!! Here’s twenty bucks, but you have to spend it on cheap plastic crap.” Would anybody not rather just have the cash?

My sister’s birthday was also last week. She’s an educator, so I gave her an old grammar textbook from 1885. After I bought the thing, I found a book of war ration stamps tucked inside.

Now there’s a gift for you, circa 1943.

“Happy birthday! Enjoy a tire! Or some Sugar!”

My brother-in-law swears they have new ration books printed already and stored in warehouses, just in case.

My own birthday is coming up, folks.

Send gasoline vouchers.



  1. That was a neat gift you made to your sister, esp. the war vouchers.

    I hope your brother-in-law is, um, misled about the war rations. I put way too much sugar in my coffee and have done so for years, always feeling guilty about it because my parents take none in theirs.

    But damn-it, I like sugar.

  2. Stupid war.

  3. Hmmm. Cash in a sympathy card. That’s a new one on me. Frankly, D, I’m not quite sure what the implication is that one should do with those funds.

    Per your reference to your own annual celebration, I say we should plan on some good ol’ fashion carousing in conjunction with the Growler’s on upcoming annuals. What say you?

  4. Carousing, indeed. Consider Duck there.

  5. J-Dawg and Dave-Kat, when and where are we drinking for your birthdays???

  6. I’m still drinking for my last birthday.

  7. you kept the stamps right?

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