Friday, June 24, 2011

P.S. - I Love You Letters - A Review and Giveaway - Ends 7/23 ($129 value)

P.S. I Love You Letters
If you were a member of my family, one thing you may have learned by now is to live each day to its fullest, and to never keep your love a secret.   Life is a fleeting gift, and when the ones we love are gone, it's very difficult to be left behind.

Nobody in my family has ever been good at long goodbyes, that's for certain - and this holds true in death as well as life.  We don't get diagnoses, we get phone calls.

There is no easy way to lose a loved one, but it is especially difficult to reconcile a loss when  it is sudden.  This is a picture of my father less than an hour before he died.  Right after this photo was taken, he put on his jacket and helmet, started up the bike, and took a ride that ended in Heaven.

Dad
Losing my direct connection to Him has been the hardest thing I  have ever had to deal with in my life.  Every day that followed seemed to reveal another way I had taken his presence for granted.  His absence was palpable.

I had very little tangible comfort.  I desperately looked for anything that I could hold onto that served as evidence of our relationship.  It was amazing how few photographs there were of us together - we were always the ones taking the pictures.  I had some greeting cards, the note he wrote in my High School yearbook, and a couple of emails.  Not much - and very little that conveyed my adult relationship with him.

I wished in vain that I had taken the time to tell him how much he meant to me; how glad I was that he was always there when I needed him, or how often the things he said to me growing up echoed in my mind and guided my decisions.  I probably should have apologized for some of my awkward teenage mood swings, and especially for not having any idea how much a parent could love a child until I had kids of my own.  I wished for a lot of things, but mostly, I wished for the opportunity to have one more conversation.

P.S. I Love You Letters is every person's chance to have that last conversation.

P.S. I Love You Letters
The idea for P.S. I Love You Letters came about after the owners watched a sweet and emotional story on television one Christmas Day.  A man had written a special letter for his daughter then gave it to his barber.  He asked him to deliver it to her for Christmas, two years after his passing.  Seeing the reaction of the young woman was so moving that they decided to give others the opportunity to experience something just as incredible.

Now you might be wondering, what are P.S. I Love You Letters? P.S. I Love You Letters are your own words, handwritten on elegant stationary, preserved in a temperature controlled environment, with specific instructions regarding delivery.   What a precious gift for a grieving loved one!

P.S. I Love You Letters is not only a great idea, but it is very well thought out and extremely well executed, too.   I am going to try to convey this to you with words and pictures with the hope that you will see how and why you would want to use their service.
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The best first step is to visit the website, www.psiloveyouletters.com. When you decide to place an order, you will receive your kit within 2 weeks.  The shipping box is very sturdy, so there are no worries about damage in transit.  When you open the box you'll find your beautiful kit inside.  It is absolutely stunning.  The stationary is thick, and the design has just the right tone.  Not somber, not whimsical, elegant - but not too formal, either.
P.S. I Love You Letters

P.S. I Love You Letters
The contents will include:
  • A Beginner's Guide 
  • A Keepsake Box 
  • A Welcome Letter with a Personal Registration Key 
  • Letterpressed Linen Archival Stationary (5 sheets per letter) 
  • Letterpressed Linen Archival Envelopes 
  • Custom Made, Branded, Wax Seals 
  • Addressee Cards 
  • A Notification Card 
  • A Pre Addressed Return Envelope
The Beginner's Guide will take you step by step through the process.

P.S. I Love You Letters
First, it will instruct you to find your very important Welcome Letter. This has your personal Registration Key.  You should take a moment to log onto the internet, go to the members area and set up an account with that key before you do anything else.    Although it is not a requirement to register, it is very useful for keeping your information up to date, and it is also necessary if you want to choose a person to verify any requests for the release of your letters.

P.S. I Love You Letters

The second step is to complete the Notification Card.

P.S. I Love You Letters

This is to be kept with your important estate documents (like a will) or in the care the person you trust to handle your affairs if anything should happen to you.  If the card somehow gets lost, don't worry!  It can be replaced - also, letters can be released without the card if the proper documentation can be produced, so you might want to let a few people know that your letters exist.

Did you notice the barcode on the card?  (and on the envelopes also pictured here)  I smudged them in the photo, but each card and set of envelopes is bar coded to connect them specifically to you.  There's no need to worry about any mix ups!

Once you're ready to write your letters, you may want to visit the Tips and Suggestions area of the website.  There you will find great ideas, to help not only with writers block (or an overflow of thoughts), but also who to write your letters to, and some good book choices that are about ethical wills.
P.S. I Love You Letters

When you've finished putting your thoughts to paper, you will seal your letter, (and ONLY your letter.. including sentimental items could damage your letters!)  Using the lovely seals is also something you can feel confident about.  They have a special adhesive that will stand the test of time.  They will also tear the paper of the envelope if anyone opens it.  Your privacy is assured.

Once the letter is completed, you will add the recipients name to the front of the special bar coded envelope (only the name!) and fill out an addressee card like this one.

P.S. I Love You Letters

Each letter needs one of these cards.  You can see that it has areas for the recipient information, as well as your personal wishes for delivery.   You can choose a special birthday, anniversary, or how many years you would like to pass before the letter is sent.  This gives you the option to think about when you'd most like your loved ones to receive your special words.

Finally, you will put your letters in the pre-addressed  padded mailer, and send them off to P.S. I Love You Letters.
P.S. I Love You Letters

Once they are received  they will be kept in secure, climate controlled storage until your notification card arrives authorizing  their release.

There is a page of Frequently Asked Questions on the website, which has even more information.  With a service of this nature, there are so many variables that could occur, but they do seem to have covered all of the bases.  If you still have questions, or don't like to do business over the internet, you can call 1-800-928-9837 during West Coast business hours to speak with a customer representative.   You can also ask questions by using the customer contact form or by emailing info@psiloveyouletters.com.

You may order a kit of  either THREE or FIVE P.S. I Love You Letters. A Three Letter Kit is $129.00, a Five Letter Kit is $159.00, and 20 extra sheets of the beautiful stationary is $11.95 (US currency)   The cost includes lifetime storage. You may order with credit card or PayPal, through the website, or make arrangements by phone.  Military members rates are discounted and they may change their letters out after a safe return from combat, one time, absolutely FREE of charge.

****My readers may also take a 20% discount off of their order by entering the code  SPECIAL20 at checkout.****

A percentage of the purchase price is put into a trust to ensure that all letters will be delivered, no matter how many years may pass.  You will also note, when you agree to the terms and conditions, that the company has a legal, contractual agreement to deliver your letters.
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I may have considered the price to be expensive at one point in my life.  Now, I would pay much more to have something like this from my father.  Another time, I might have thought I was too young to even consider this service, until my husband had a heart attack at age 43.  I might have thought that my wish for something like this was unique, but my aunt died suddenly last week, and I recognized the same look in my cousins' eyes.

I know I want my children to have this legacy more than anything else if something should happen and I could no longer be with them.  I know from experience, a physical document - a handwritten thought - means more than anything.   Email and texting is convenient, but a letter is a treasure that lasts forever.
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P.S. I Love You Letters is a fairly new company - in business since April of this year.  I'm honored to help spread the word about this service.  You will find them on Facebook and on Twitter if you'd like to keep up with them or share the links with others.

[Giveaway Closed]
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**I was given a 3 letter kit in order to write an informed, blogged review of the product.  I was not compensated to write this post and my opinions are genuine.