Inside USPS

The Power of a Handwritten Letter

Browse Stories

By: Susan Halbrook


I think it’s still significant to send and receive cards and letters using the Postal Service because there is nothing more personal. If you can’t be face to face, a personal card or letter offers the next level of intimacy. You have the ability to hold it and cherish each and every word that is conveyed within it. You are able to recall the person and the feelings that are stirred when you remember what they mean to you.


It crosses time; when you re-read it and it gives you the very same attachment as the first time you read it. That’s why I have saved various cards and letters from by beloved grandparents, parents and friends. To see their unique handwriting is precious and heart-warming. It gives you a chance to reminisce and be comforted.


Cards and letters travel the distance of miles, nations and continents to bring the closeness of your loved ones. I recall when my son was overseas in Iraq. I would receive a letter and know he was still alive on the other side of the world. Seeing his handwriting and reading his thoughts was comforting. I think of my daughter who married a young man in the Coast Guard and has always lived out of state. What a treasure it is to receive any handwritten correspondence because it brings her close to home and my heart.


Not even video calls can replace what you feel when you receive a personal handwritten card or letter — the fleeting in the moment sentiment and closeness you experience when you open the envelope.


Email, texting and social media all have their time and place. It’s not that I’m unwilling or unable to use any electronic format: I use them daily. In fact, I believe using them keeps me young. I just plain and simply enjoy the handwritten card or letter more.