Helping a Friend Deal With Adversity

A good friend has recently found out that her teenage son has a serious non-curable but non-fatal disease. He has recently had 2 surgeries and may face more in the future. The future will certainly require more hospital stays for tests and treatments.


Her husband works for a small company and their insurance is not good. She is already dealing will the insurance refusing charges so she is under a great deal of stress. My question... If you have been her in position, how do I best help?

My offers of meals have not been accepted, I don't want to show up with food since he probably has a restricted diet and her other kids are rather picky. I have offered to sit with her at the hospital to wait during surgery/tests but she hasn't called. I don't want to push myself on her but do want to be a thoughtful friend. I know as this goes on she may ask for my help but do you know of something that would be very helpful that I could do without her asking?


Jane from Greenville

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By Sharon,Ky (Guest Post)
May 5, 20050 found this helpful

Nothing says you care like a card .Possibly she's feeling resentful now of the situation and many times a person doesn't even want the aid of a friend because they are feeling this way. Send a card letting you know her problems are your problems too because you love her and you'll be praying for her son and her and if she ever needs your help you ARE THERE FOR HER!! That's what a good friend would do.

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By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post)
May 5, 20050 found this helpful

I would contact the husband and see what household chores needed done - laundry, dishes - things that can pile up real fast.


Also, talk to the other kids in the family. Do they need rides to soccer practice or cheerleading? Offer to drive them to their activities. It would be a big relief to parents to not have to remember to drop off and pick up the other kids. It will also help the other kids not feel "forgotten" at this stressful time.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
May 5, 20050 found this helpful

Does she need babysitting or any of the kids need homework help or errands. An assortment of gift cards to restaurants, fast food and video stores might be appreciated. In stead of asking her "what do you need?' perhaps you can say" I'd like to help by..... Would it be OK if I came by and .... or something like that.

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By Christine (Guest Post)
May 6, 20050 found this helpful

Sending a card is a great idea. Call her and let her know that you are
there. Send her a personal care basket (for herself) or a gift certificate to an afternoon at a spa, tickets to a movie, anything that will give her (and her husband, if she chooses) a break. Probably the most important thing you can do is just listen. Sometimes that's all


someone needs.

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May 6, 20050 found this helpful

Just keep on letting her know you're available whenever she can use your help. She'll appreciate the offer even if she never has to call on you.

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May 6, 20050 found this helpful

Financial stress could make her upset. If you attend same church, Veterans groups etc. maybe you could have a bake sale for them with proceeds going to help for ins. bills or grocery gift cards or WalMart gift cards. It is not Charity and may help. I did this for a family a Veterans group of my husband's collected
canned foods at diff. banks and we gave food gifts
to family for 3 months in a row and it helped them catch up on other bills. It was a great feeling to be


helping too.
Also the pamper her gift suggestion too maybe take her to a movie or lunch alone with you so she can take a break. CAregivers often neglect ourselves.
What a gift to have a caring friend as you!

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By Becki in Indiana (Guest Post)
May 17, 20050 found this helpful

right now she is proabably trying to adjust and come to terms with things, and doesn't know HOW to let others help. I would suggest you start small. If she is not taking you up on your offer to sit with her at the hospital, then give her a "goodie bag" of things to make her time at the hospital more bearable -- a magazine or two, a crossword puzzle book or small cross-stitch project if she's into such things, a purse-pack of tissues, a chapstick, a small bottle of hand lotion, and how about a phone card?


There's a fine line to most people between accepting help and accepting charity -- if you try to give before they are ready to accept your help, it could backfire. As time goes by, she will probably open up more. She is lucky to have a friend like you -- don't give up on her!

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May 29, 20050 found this helpful

A gift certificate for something that she uses, such as a haircut, hair style, massage, pedicure, manicure. Just anything to take her mind off of her problems, if only for a little while, would be a nice gesture. A gift certificate for a nice restaurant for her and her spouse to use while their son is hospitalized, just a nice getaway, would also be nice, maybe also arrange for other family members or yourself, to be at their son's bedside while they do this.


More people need true friends, like yourself. I had surgery almost 2 years ago, none of my friends showed up at all, nor sent flowers, or fixed any dishes of food for my freezer or so my husband to just heat up.

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