Post # 1
One of my bridesmaids recently found out that her husband’s kidneys are failing. They’re waiting on biopsy results, and while I want to support her, I have no idea what to actually do. She’s in Minneapolis and I’m in Pittsburgh, so it’s not like I can just drop by and bring dinner. However, I also realize how difficult it can be to put on a strong face while helping a loved one, but have no one around to support you when you break down because said loved one is sick.
My mom was sick a while back, and I remember how hard it was when a lot of my friends just disappeared because they didn’t know what to say. (I even had some now-ex-friends ask me to stop talking about it because it was bringing them down. *ahem*) The whole backing away because you feel helpless is an understandable reaction, but I don’t want to make the same mistake. But I also don’t want to turn into the annoying person who keeps emailing her. (Email is the only communication option – she’s specifically said that she can’t handle talking on the phone right now.)
So, if it were you in her position, how often would you want someone checking in on you? And can you think of anything else I can do?
Post # 3
I would suggest sending her an eCard one week to let her know you are thinking of her. Then the next week following up with an email message letting her know you are there for her if she needs to talk. If she does not call you, wait for 2 weeks and then give her a call.
The first few weeks at least she knows you are there for her if she needs you. After a few weeks, she will hopefully be able to handle phone calls.
This is what I would like from my friends if I was in a similar position. Good luck!
Post # 4
I think I would send flowers, a gift voucher to something like the movies/a massage/a nice dinner, or a hamper of some kind. I’ve never been in the situation of you or your friend but I imagine I would appreciate knowing that people are thinking of me. Also an email occasionally out of the blue (or a text message?) to say that they are in your thoughts.
Post # 5
I like the dinner gift certificate idea – it could be a “go out and talk about anything except kidneys” sort of thing.
Post # 6
I would also write some hand written snail mail cards and pop them in the mail periodically. It is always so great to get real live in person mail! I hope he’s doing better. I know he got his biopsy recently if I remember correctly from the last post.
Post # 7
having gone through my mom being sick as well and seeing friends dissapear, the best advice I can offer is to just send her emails letting her know you are thinking of her. I don’t know i would have wanted anyone to send me “stuff” though. I mean, something small and sweet as a token you are thinking of me is really nice (and that she can immediately use? homemade cookies? chocolate? a paper “hug”), but not sure a gift certificate would make her feel any better….
Post # 8
@Mrs. DG – The results were due today. I’ve been incredibly anxious since last night and cannot even fathom how she’s feeling. I also really like the “real” mail option.
@Janna19 – I’d consider a gift certificate only because it might take her mind off of things, no matter how temporarily.
Post # 9
If you lean towards bringing her dinner maybe you could make a nice gesture by mailing her a card with a gift certificate to a take out restaurant in her area and a take out menu.
But I’m sure just a nice card, letter, or email to say that you’re thinking about them and to encourage her to contact you if there’s anything you could do to help would be appreciated.
Post # 10
I’d side with the take-out certificate idea. Do anything BUT italian. Everyone seems to make casseroles for people who are having trouble and don’t send flowers for sure. Too many people do and it ends up smelling like a funeral home.
Post # 11
When I’ve had bad things happen to me, the worst thing has always been that there is a flood of immediate support…and then nothing. So I would suggest consistant communication. If she wants to talk about her husband’s condition, or if she wants to talk about anything but, she just needs to know what you will always be there for her.
Post # 12
@redherring – I am sure she would love it. I was just relating from personal experience that what I needed the most was knowing people were there for me and thinking of me….but I am not her and she is your friend! She certainly couldn’t be unhappy with it 🙂
Post # 13
Oh man, it sounds like you and I have a lot of friends in common, redherring. I guess they figure it’s better to say nothing at all than say the wrong thing. Sigh.
Well, I had a friend in Pittsburgh who sent me a really nice (fancy!) bath robe when my brother died, along with a nice card that although she couldn’t be there, she thought I could use some comfort. It was such a nice, sweet gesture. And lasted longer than flowers! Although I think a bath robe is totally totally random.
Could you maybe get them tickets to a show? Something to get them “out” so to speak? Anything to get them doing something distracting?
Post # 14
I agree with e-cards/emails of support that are kept light, and I love the idea of a gift card to a restaurant that offers take out. I wouldn’t do a GC to a restaurant without take out since u don’t want it to be like, sorry your hub’s kidneys are failing- go out to dinner. Write a note that it’s a GC so she can get some yummy takeout and maybe arrange with a friend or relative there to pick it up for them.
I think flowers/that sort of thing should be reserved for if someone passes away.