did i say the right thing?

What an awful month August has been. My friend Rhoda was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her surgery is scheduled for the beginning of September. Out of the blue, my friend Pat’s husband of 28 years told her he didn’t love her anymore and he wanted a divorce. She was devastated. My friend Margie had heart surgery. Fortunately, the procedure went well and she is already out and about and leading a fairly normal life.

So, here I was faced with 3 different situations in which I wanted just the right comforting words or gestures that expressed the compassion and encouragement that I felt in my heart.

I thought about what people have said who have been through trauma and how meaningful it can be to just know that someone cares. I remembered Cindi’s comment on this blog about how people avoided her friend with terminal cancer because they were uncomfortable and didn’t know what to say.

I hugged Rhoda and listened. I call Pat regularly and listen. I try to make Margie laugh. I hope I’ve said and done the right thing.

what do you say - before major surgery

My friend Margie had heart surgery last week and I went to visit her the day before the procedure. Another friend was just leaving and said, “Good luck tomorrow.” That struck me as an unusual thing to say. Luck should have nothing to do with medicine.

But then I wondered, what is the right thing to say to someone heading into major surgery?