Today has been an amazing day. The petition for Hallmark to create hospice cards has now grown past 1,500 signatures.
Hallmark has responded in two ways. The Hallmark search engine now recognizes the word “hospice” and the phrase “end of life.” It will now send you to a card match that is as close as they could find to address the need.
I wish to applaud these two steps in the right direction, but I want you to look closely at the first card they selected to address this issue;
“Cancer is tough, but you are tougher.”
This is the last thing a hospice patient with cancer wants to hear. To often they have been told that this is a fight, cancer is a battle. What is hospice? Losing?
There are other lovely cards depicted in the statement, the “caring thoughts” are nice but I don’t think the last image of “I hope you are taking care of yourself” is the best choice. That makes it sound as though the patient could do something to rectify his/her situation if they just took better care.
We need Hallmark to take this issue of communication at end of life and hospice head on as they have for numerous topics like miscarriage as seen in this below screenshot. This kind of clear messaging gives us permission to talk about life and death.
Hallmark also says they are rolling out a “tough times” selection of cards, but we need a clearer choice that that. We need to see a “hospice” header right beside the “get well” and “thinking of you.”