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Comforting a sick friend

Comforting a sick friend– Live Great – Great Eastern Life

The illness of a friend or loved one can be a very upsetting time for both of you. You're under pressure to stay strong and positive, while your friend deals with fluctuating emotions that can make your help appear unappreciated. Don't lose hope or lose patience. Ultimately, you are needed. You may just have to tweak your behavior to suit your friend's moods.

Naturally, the ways in which you can help vary according to the severity of the illness. But there are a few invariables, namely care, compassion and consistency. Try to remain upbeat but don't force it. Just because your friend is struggling physically, that doesn't mean that he or she can't pick up on pretense. You're there because you're trusted. Don't compromise that in your friend's hour of need. Stay natural and do what comes naturally...

If your friend is physically capable....
Arrange an outing. What does your friend like to do? What places have you been together that inspire happy memories? Think of an enjoyable (and appropriate) destination and treat your friend to a day of delight. You don't even need to go far. Would a spa treatment or manicure ease the stress of illness? A theater visit might provide light relief. How about shopping? Even a material experience such as the purchase of new shoes might lift the gloom, if only temporarily. You know your friend and you know his or her likes and dislikes. Remind that person why you're an important part of his or her life.

If mobility is an issue...
You can still have fun without leaving the house or hospital. Gifts are always good – especially if they're practical (a fruit basket? special toiletries?). But why not go one better? Make a CD or iTunes playlist featuring songs that mean something to you both. If you can't visit a manicurist or massage therapist, bring one in. Are you a good cook – or do you know somebody who is? Create a feast comprising your friend's favorite foods. You can even throw a party if you feel that he or she is up to it. If quieter entertainment seems more appropriate, rent a DVD that you know your friend will enjoy, or lend a couple of books that have inspired you through tough times of your own.

In either case...
Do whatever helps. If your friend has children, offer to drive them to school or pick them up from clubs and activities. If he or she has regular medical appointments, say that you'll drive or at least go along for moral support. Pick up prescriptions, be on hand to buy other essentials, walk the dog or do the laundry – anything that reduces the pressure on your friend. Send a cleaner round. Do the housework while your friend is sleeping. The key thing is to be yourself. If you behave oddly, it will only make things odder for your friend. So make the conversation you're expected to make. Laugh, joke and mess around if that's what you'd do in a normal situation. By all means learn about your friend's illness. But the last thing any sick person wants is to be defined by that illness so – even if you're adapting your behavior to ease tension – never change who you are.

Nobody said this would be easy. But you must have the confidence to know that you can make it easier. You can't cure your friend or take away the pain. But you can be a comforting, calming and coordinating influence, and that in itself is priceless. Illness comes in many forms but friends are simply friends.

Need more advice? Here are some useful links:

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Great Eastern Life Indonesia & Great Eastern General Indonesia terdaftar dan diawasi oleh Otoritas Jasa Keuangan
Great Eastern Life Indonesia & Great Eastern General Indonesia terdaftar dan diawasi oleh Otoritas Jasa Keuangan