Advice for friends and family


Friends and family around, I would advise don’t assume that because everything looks like it’s going okay that it is. […] To say, just to say, “Let me know if you need anything,” usually doesn’t work very well. Usually to be much more concrete than that. “Why don’t I come over for an hour and you go out for a coffee with your friend,” or something concrete, to just offer it, to just be there. Just offer something very real, not vague might make the person feel more at ease about accepting it, especially if they’re not used to asking for help. And also, listening sometimes can be a huge help. There’s sometimes not too many people who can really understand what you might be feeling and going through, and allowing a space for someone to vent can be really helpful. That’s what it was after my husband died. Sometimes very good friends would say, “Well, we don’t know what to say,” and I said, “Just say, ‘I’m sorry. I’m thinking about you. I’m sorry,’ And just let me talk. Sometimes I just need to talk. Just listen.” “Okay, I can do that.”

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