Often we struggle with what to do or say when someone is sick and instead of risking saying the wrong thing we say nothing — leaving the impression we don’t care.
Offering to give a family caregiver an hour off away from the house is a gift that is not easily forgotten. Sending the mate of someone who is ill a card saying how much you are thinking of them and their struggles is also very kind. Generally they are equally as scared and unrested, stressed and trying to put on a happy face for all involved.
Sending a small hand-written note gets attention.
Sometimes instead of putting on a smile and giving a “buck up” type talk it’s best to just say “This stinks.. doesn’t it?” and letting the person talk instead of jabbering.
Bruce Feiler, writing in the New York Times, offers some hints in an article called ” ‘You Look Great’ and Other Lies “