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Tips for Family and Friends

"Formal or fake-fancy lines escape our lips not from a lapse of sensitivity but because we've internalized a culture-wide delusion that they are comforting to people who are sick or suffering"

- “Everything happens for a reason.”

- “You’re so brave.”

- “You’re so inspiring.”

- “You have to be strong for your kids.”

- “My thoughts are with you.”

- “Just be glad it isn’t worse.”

                       - Letty Cottin Pogrebin


Instead of using these cliché lines, try following some of these tips:
  • Sometimes just being present and saying nothing shows how much you care. It’s like a silent form of support. Listen, be selfless, show empathy and be kind.
  • Communicate with your loved one even if it’s just through a phone call. Engage in a meaningful conversation instead of focusing on the diagnosis.
  • “Know what to say and when to shut up, rest comfortably in each other’s silences and make each other feel safe.”
  • If possible, accompany your loved one during her chemotherapy treatment.
  • Take the time to know the sick person’s needs and wants. There’s a time when they want all the attention and there’s a time when they just want to be left alone. Be respectful of that.
  • When visiting your loved one, don’t think that you have to stay there for a long period of time. “Stay long enough to show that you care."
  • Be mindful of the things you say. “Sometimes you look great, isn’t always a compliment.” The person might not feel like she looks good. She might be going through some physical changes that you are unaware of.

Source: How to be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick