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What to say

Posted by xnine, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:42 am

A friend is in hospital with heart attack and pneumonia. Things are not looking good. We have known each other since high school and keeped in touch. Her kids and husband are with her. I feel sad about what is happening to her. I will certainly will miss her when the time comes. I just do not know what to say.

Reply by Angelicamarie, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:46 am

xnine.. search your heart, you have already said her friendship means a lot. Tell her now... regrets are terrible...

Reply by Bill, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:06 am

Hello xnine. I am sure that everyone who has been through this experience will be empathising with you at this time. I have been through this many times with friends, colleagues and clients. What I have found is, that it is not necessary to force ourselves to say anything which is not genuinely on our minds. It is okay to admit that you don't know what to say, and then keep quiet. Many people cannot cope with awkward silences, but it is sometimes better to say nothing than to seem disingenuous. It can also be  a bit depressing for a patient to be confronted with sad visitors. If you can focus on memories of better times , this can sometimes help. As can sharing photo albums and holiday shots etc, as this can stimulate discussion about the good times you shared. Simple things can sometimes be very effective at helping to focus on something other than the illness. Many years ago, a girlfriend of mine had terminal cancer, and to have something to focus upon, she knitted me a cardigan during the last phases of the illness and we would converse about how it was progressing and how I was looking forward to wearing it. Eventually, her mother presented it to me saying that she had to finish it off, but added that she appreciated how it had helped her daughter to have a purpose in life during her fading weeks.

Sometimes, it is just your presence, patience and persistence which helps most in these difficult circumstances. Sitting at someone's bedside and silently holding their hand in true and genuine friendship is often all that is required to bring comfort and joy to those whom we wish to please.

Best wishes


Reply by xnine, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:20 am

Thanks Angel and Bill. I remember one time we were on a summers drive picking wild flowers. We left the bunch on the kitchen table and her mom was surprised when she found them.

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:15 am

Bring up the flowers....or any other good memory you have of her that you'd like to bring up.  Other than that, as Bill said, you don't have to say anything.  Just be there for her.  She knows there is nothing you can say that will change anything and she knows you love her.  It will be enough.

Reply by countyclare, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:38 pm

Very sorry for your heartache. Your friend and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Reply by countyclare, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:39 pm

Very sorry for your heartache. Your friend and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Reply by xnine, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:49 pm

Thank you all.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:11 pm

Praying for the best outcome for your friend! 

Hugs to you and hope your heartache is lessened with great memories!


Reply by xnine, on Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:19 am

Her daughter posted:

It is with profound sadness that I tell you all our worst fears have been realized. We spoke to Mom’s primary doctor yesterday and he told us the terrible news. There has just been too much damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen for her to recover. We have decided unanimously that she would not want to continue with this quality of life. She will be living her last days or months in palliative care. This way she will be comfortable and well taken care of! '

Reply by Bill, on Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:54 am

Sorry to hear this sad news. I hope she is, as you say - comfortable and well cared for.

Best wishes


Reply by freedancer, on Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:32 am
Just love your friend and ask her what you can do for her to help her. It is important to just be a good friend right now.
Reply by xnine, on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:06 am

She is gone.

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:31 am

I'm so sorry.  You have my condolences.

Reply by Debbie, on Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:03 pm

What you say does not matter. Your presence says it all. Be there to listen and offer to help in any way that you can. I have worked in hospice for many years and letting the family know you care is great for them. Being there to hold your friends hand makes all the difference in the world. 

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