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.


Anonymous said...

when the rug gets pulled out from under you and everything you've known to be the norm is no longer, the support and understanding of your friends and family is such a comfort. Showing you care by calling, listening, visiting (just reaching out)can make a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I too had trouble in finding the right words to say. I ended up doing it via email because I do not speak to this person often, nonetheless I wanted her to know that I was thinking of her. And I also knew that she would remember the acknowledgement and I know how much she values her friends and family being sincere and supportive.

Anonymous said...

When your friend is hurting, you tell her that you are thinking about her. You call her regularly, bring over food, drink, books that you know she would read, boxes of kleenex, offer to do errands, or just sit and say nothing.