Life interrupted

When visiting an ill friend, it’s a good idea to refrain from relating your own problems. Don’t tell him/her that your cat ran away or that you got stuck in heavy traffic. Don’t tell your friend about an upcoming vacation that you plan to take or the subscription you have taken out for the new opera season either.

It’s a good idea to call before visiting as your friend simply might not feel like receiving visitors or – might even have a doctor’s appointment.

When you do get there, limit the length of your visit.  It’s hard to know what to say in this situation but I do know that it’s a bad idea to say; ‘I feel so sorry for you, cheer up or, it will get better,’ because the timing is wrong. How about, ‘This might get really bad, but in time, I hope you’ll feel better.’

Unless you are really very religious, it’s preferable to refrain from saying; :I will pray for you.’ And, unless you really mean it, don’t ask if there is anything you can do.  And even if you are sure you won’t know what to say, visit anyway. It’s far better to visit and sit in silence than to stay away. You will find something to say when you see that your friend needs moral support.

This is definitely not the time to tell stories about all the people you know who had the same illness or disease. It doesn’t change anything and can be very irritating and upsetting. Neither is it helpful to say; “Everything will be okay, you’ll see.” You are not a prophet. What she needs most, is your support and love. Instead of asking how that person is feeling, try  ‘how are you doing?’

clasping hands 2


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