More often than not, you will come across friends and family who are sick and need your care and support. Here are some thoughtful things you can do to show them that you are there for them and can count on you always.
Whatever you say, it’s always better than being silent. You can even admit to the person that you don’t know what to say but just want to let them know that you are there for them. Silence is worse than anything. It’s okay not to know what to say, but show you understand the gravity of the situation with sincere, compassionate words like, “I don’t know what to do to help you, but I’m here.” or “I’m upset too, but I’ll do whatever I can to help you”.
Don’t talk only about yourself
Thinking about your own experience is human however, try to suppress this natural inclination in the presence of a loved one confronted with a diagnosis. Take yourself out of the equation and give the other an opportunity to explain how they are feeling, without forcing them. Say something like, “I can’t imagine how you feel. Do you want to tell me about it?” or “I have never experienced such a situation; I would like to try to understand what it can be”.
Help before you are asked
While it seems natural to offer help by saying, “Don’t hesitate to ask me if you need anything,” it can put the other in the awkward position of having to think about how you can help. When a friend or loved one is facing a serious health problem, one of the best ways to support them is to relieve them of the burden of asking.
In other words, save her a daily chore such as laundry, make sure the bills are paid, or dinner is ready. You can also simply offer to go for a walk with the person, so that they confide and evacuate if necessary. Preparing a meal is extremely helpful, as is taking the kids to activities, school or babysitting them overnight. You can send a fruit hamper Melbourne unexpectedly. They will like the surprise.
Even if you would like to know it, avoid asking him or her how they are, which risks rekindling the sorrow. They are usually fine until someone asks them this question, which makes them think about their problem more. Prefer words of encouragement like “You are amazing, you’re doing a great job recovering fast” etc.
Don’t get upset if your attempts to start a conversation fall flat
Everyone has their own way of dealing with illness. While for the most part it’s a relief to talk about it, some have a harder time. What matters is not to push those who don’t seem to want to talk. You can always ask them if they want you to keep quiet if that helps. Let them know you won’t be offended as they might be listening to you rambling on out of sheer courtesy.