3 Ways to Help a Friend When You Don't Know How to Help
1. DO SOMETHING FROM A SLIGHT DISTANCE. Send a meal or run an errand. Pick up the phone or write an email. Even if you say just a few words, it allows for a connection.
2. DON'T OFFER UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Most patients are bombarded with opinions from medical experts and family members, so think twice before giving your own. Once, when I met a friend for a drink during my treatment, she told me my problem was my aura. The color was off, according to her. Not helpful.
3. ENLIST A NETWORK OF FRIENDS. Therapist Vivian Ubell cites a case in which a husband couldn't bear to be present during his wife's cancer treatments and asked friends to take turns accompanying her to the sessions. She understood his avoidance of that part of her treatment. "A patient's illness can be just as stressful for his or her caretaker," Ubell says. "It is quite normal for a caretaker to have limitations." Fill one of those gaps and you'll show your love for both of them.
Read more: How To Help a Friend - Losing Friends During a Health Crisis - Redbook