After Mum died of bowel cancer in 2012 – just 16 days after her diagnosis – I was lost. Completely lost. Couldn’t cope with the unexpected storms of grief. No one can prepare you for it. Not really. Not fully.
The milestones and moments in that first year were hitting hard. As Mum’s 60th birthday approached, I knew I had to switch things up. After months of not knowing what to say, nor how to talk about her, I decided to create a project in her memory.
Eurostar vouchers were the last gift Mum had given me, so I set off to Paris with some friends for a long weekend to celebrate her, taking 60 Postcards with me – one for every year of her life. I wrote a message about her on the postcards and scattered them around the City of Love – in cafes, book shops, postcard racks, park benches and beyond – for strangers to find.
My email address was on them for the finder to get in touch. And in a weird twist of fate, luck and hope, some folk did.
The blog & the book.
I was blown away by the positive response to the project and began a blog, sharing the tales of the postcards in Paris, interwoven with an honest account of my grief and of the time we were losing mum. After a mention in the media, I was also fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to turn 60 Postcards into a book.
Throughout the project, people were sending so many stories of their own thoughts – and of memories of lost loved ones. Inspired by these, I took the project to NYC to leave postcards on behalf of others (with a little help from some friends, and Meghan Markle, too).
Numerous developments of the postcard projects popped up over the years and most recently, I launched #PostcardsForYou during lockdown. Check it out. Join the movement.
I’ll stop there for now but please give me a shout if you have any questions! I’d love to hear from you.
Press / Media.
I am a communications consultant working predominantly in the charity/international development sector. Over the past 6 years, I have enjoyed working with Mercy Corps Europe, Girl Effect and media and marketing agency, Buzzbar.
Right now, I am Co-Director of Action For Sama – the impact campaign by Bafta-winning filmmaker Waad al-Kateab. Working alongside the most inspirational team, our aim is to turn the incredible worldwide reaction to Waad’s Oscar-nominated documentary, For Sama, into positive action for Syrian civilians.
It seems, no matter what I do, I always come back to the postcards. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note.