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trick-r-treat
July 11th, 2007, 20:02
What if you found out that a friend was dying? Would you know what to say to them?

SageMother
July 11th, 2007, 23:05
I think I would first ask about the illness, and if the doctor had said anything specific about treatments and pain management, if the conversation could go that far.

When I don't know what to say in such situations I tend to start with as analytical approach as the other person can withstand. If the friend exhibited distress while speaking of the situation I would just listen. I would have no choice but to read the the nonverbal signals along with their verbal signals, to determine how to respond.

I am sure that is what most people actually do, when that moment comes. I bet you would know the right words, when called upon.

sandmike123
July 12th, 2007, 16:49
I wouldn't know what to say either. I am guessing the first thing I would do is ask if there was anything I could do. And kind of go from there.

SageMother
July 12th, 2007, 21:33
I wouldn't know what to say either. I am guessing the first thing I would do is ask if there was anything I could do. And kind of go from there.

That sounds very safe and sensible. It give control to your friend when they really need it, but makes you available to them for any help they might need.

Calypso
July 13th, 2007, 20:03
I think it would be important to ask your friend what he or she needs or wants from you. For instance, some people might want to talk about their feelings and other people might prefer not to.

It's also important not to impose your own expectations on your friends. For instance, I'm emotional and a talker by nature. Several members of my family aren't. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to try to force them to express emotion to me if they weren't comfortable doing so.

When my friend was dying from cancer, I said something like, "Every one of us travels this journey in his or her own way. I want to be there to support you in any way I can, whether that means holding you while you cry or setting you up with community resources." I then made it a point to check in with her once a week or so just to touch base and see what she needed. Sometimes she wanted to laugh. Sometimes she needed to cry. Sometimes she didn't feel like talking at all. But she knew I was there, regardless.

sandmike123
July 13th, 2007, 21:51
I think that them knowing you are there for them both emotionally and physically for anything they may need is the best thing you can do.

Calypso
July 14th, 2007, 13:53
Over the last several days, I've had a tiny taste of what it might be like to deal with friends' discomfort. Last week a screening mammogram turned up a lump in my breast that might or might not be cancer.

Of the people I've told, several seem to be avoiding me, a couple are completely invested in making me believe "it's nothing" (I certainly *hope* it's nothing, but I won't know that for sure until the biopsy is complete, and niether will they), and others are encouraging me to express my feelings when I'm trying very hard to stay in my head right now because what's in my heart is just too scary. I have been fortunate to have a few people say, "I'm here for you...whatever, whenever." They're the ones I treasure.

lilyflower_1978
July 14th, 2007, 21:41
I'd definately listen. Sometimes all they need is someone to be there when they feel like screaming or kicking. I'd also offer what ever support they ask for: helping with house work, going to doctor visits with them, what ever they need. It is hard to do it alone because you already feel so alone. Sometimes it is hard thought to except your new limitations and to take the help offered to you, so as a friend to that person be persistant eventually they will let you in.

SageMother
July 18th, 2007, 16:20
Over the last several days, I've had a tiny taste of what it might be like to deal with friends' discomfort. Last week a screening mammogram turned up a lump in my breast that might or might not be cancer.

Of the people I've told, several seem to be avoiding me, a couple are completely invested in making me believe "it's nothing" (I certainly *hope* it's nothing, but I won't know that for sure until the biopsy is complete, and niether will they), and others are encouraging me to express my feelings when I'm trying very hard to stay in my head right now because what's in my heart is just too scary. I have been fortunate to have a few people say, "I'm here for you...whatever, whenever." They're the ones I treasure.

I hope everything turns out alright. They can fin dso many things these days that you have to hold your breath while they decide if a lump or spot is worthe exploring further, then you have to hope the biopsy results are read correctly. I have had similar scares and my heart goes out to you.

Calypso
July 23rd, 2007, 19:49
Over the last several days, I've had a tiny taste of what it might be like to deal with friends' discomfort. Last week a screening mammogram turned up a lump in my breast that might or might not be cancer.

Of the people I've told, several seem to be avoiding me, a couple are completely invested in making me believe "it's nothing" (I certainly *hope* it's nothing, but I won't know that for sure until the biopsy is complete, and niether will they), and others are encouraging me to express my feelings when I'm trying very hard to stay in my head right now because what's in my heart is just too scary. I have been fortunate to have a few people say, "I'm here for you...whatever, whenever." They're the ones I treasure.

Good news, the tumor was benign. It was such a relief to hear and such a relief to call and email all my friends and family and tell them they didn't have to worry about me anymore.

Still, a small part of me can't help thinking how terrifying it would have felt if the news had been different...

Taggart
August 3rd, 2007, 06:40
I'm very glad to hear the report, Calyspo.

I haven't had experience with someone who knew they were terminally ill, but I'd hope that the relationship was strong before that, and I'd hope that may make it easier for the ill person to ask for what they wanted of me.

A work colleague of mine died last year, but I didn't hear about it till he'd passed away. I suspect he knew of his illness the last time I saw him.

Priscilla
August 23rd, 2007, 20:58
I would think that I would want as much quality time with that friend as I could get. Losing loved ones in my life in so many different ways, some quick, some long, unexpected, violent, has made me want to have as much quality time with my friends and loved ones that is possible. And my quality time, I mean not moaning and complaining about stupid little things all the time and how awful the day was. Everyday that I wake up and I'm breathing is a wonderful day and I treat it that way.

echos
August 23rd, 2007, 23:29
If you were a good firend of the person dying, you would certaintly be there, to do whatever it took, to make your friend feel and be better. I have lost 3-wonderful friends and I was always avaiable to be with them and support them in anyway they saw fit.

qwerty
August 24th, 2007, 05:14
And my quality time, I mean not moaning and complaining about stupid little things all the time and how awful the day was. Everyday that I wake up and I'm breathing is a wonderful day and I treat it that way.

Priscilla, that's a wonderful attitude and it's reminded me that I need to make more effort to appreciate all the good things in my life. Thanks so much for that! I used to take time to sit down and write out all the things I was grateful for and it made me feel great, and I haven't done it for a while.

Off to do it now!

Priscilla
August 26th, 2007, 08:35
Glad I was able to help Qwerty! So many people at my job think I'm strange and "way too perky", but I now how to make each ot them smile and they never complain about that!

qwerty
August 28th, 2007, 04:02
There's no such thing as 'too perky' or there shouldn't be... sounds like you're a joy to be around. Thanks again for inspiring me. :)

Sunnycharacter
September 10th, 2007, 18:34
I think some of us need to be upbeat in times of stress. It brings a balance into a situation that sometimes seems hopeless and depressing.