Have you ever been sick, or caring for someone and needed some some extra help?
Or had someone close to you, who you knew could use a lending hand in some way, but you wondered what to do that would be comforting and useful?
Helping A Sick Friend and Comforting In Heartbreak is one of the most thoughtful and rewarding things we can do.
However, too often we shy away and not do anything, because we may not know what to say, or what to do, or how to best give service.
So that we can bring relief to the weary who are physically drained from caring for their family and loved ones; and comfort those who’s heart is breaking from any type of tragic and adverse situation, I have put together some resources to guide us in being a true comfort, such as:
As you read on, you will find there are several excellent ideas here; however, the secret is to act and reach out. They will greatly appreciate your kindness and show of support, in often unspoken words. Just do the best you can and serve.
Have you ever experienced a trial or hardship that was extremely difficult, though maybe not as recognized as a disease or accident? I think we all have, and during those times, we still need an encouraging word of reassurance and friendship.
During a particularly difficult time, Natalie delivered this card to me shown just below, and it filled the heart with joy.
To find beautiful cards like this, Natalie’s link is HERE
You can also download a free THINKING OF YOU CARD here
Being there to lift another’s burden by simply saying you are there as a friend is priceless. Remember, a ‘real’ card is never out of style.
You will find many more ideas of how you can help in useful and creative ways, including a SUNSHINE GIFT for all ages at the end of this post.
In distressing circumstances what do you say– or not say?
There are numerous conditions under which a person or a family could use help.
1- Now that we identified WHEN to help –
2- WHAT can we do if it’s not obvious?
3- Look hard and pray about HOW to help. Here’s an example from my own experience.
Some years back, a family in our neighborhood had a very young son who was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, it was a scary and trying time for also their extended family and those of us in the neighborhood who knew and cared about them.
I wanted to somehow be a benefit, but I wasn’t sure what to do, so I included it in my prayers that I’d know how to help.
After prying a little one day, I found out that the mom did not have the extra means to buy food from the cafeteria while she was at hospital; which was daily while her young son had treatments.
That was my answer!
I packed a sturdy durable bag that closed tight with food that could be warmed in the microwave, or eaten as it was, but none that required refrigeration.
Mainly high protein foods and a few treats.
Another time this same mom asked me to watch her other children because she had to take her son to his doctors appointment. While she was gone, I arranged with other women in our church to come in for a cleaning blitz who had wanted to help, but didn’t know what they could do.
While we cleaned, older kids of the women who had come to help clean, did crafts with the kids I was in charge of for the mom at the hospital, making them feel special and keeping them entertained. This was a great gift and service to them, as their life now had to often revolve around all the hospital visits and that very sensitive situation of their brother being ill.
It’s a cherished memory of how to involve others.
What if I SAY or DO the wrong thing?
How do I know THE BEST way to serve them?
It’s unfortunate, but a part of life that illness, tragedy or hardship will come to one of our loved ones, a friend, or a neighbor at some time.
And then –
I have some tips and suggestions so that you will ALWAYS know how, when and the best ways to be of service and comfort. Remember! Just Do SOMETHING with the best intention of loving them and it will be alright.
This was a situation for one of my dear neighbors and I didn’t know what to say, or what to do myself as I hadn’t encountered this situation before. So I researched a bit and I’m sharing with you the information I found.
Heartbreaking position for those grieving with the loss of a loved one to suicide
To read the helpful tips and ideas of what to do, click GRIEVING THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE TO SUICIDE
WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER LOSES A BABY?
This is another delicate issue and so tender for everyone involved.
I have tried to gather information for us so we can be the most helpful in this situation.
Losing A Pet can be as devastating as losing a family member to those who love and care for their pets.
I have a tips and ideas you will find helpful here in How To Comfort When There Is A Pet-loss
Treat them the same
It’s important to remember and treat the person, or the family as you always did. This new diagnosis, or difficulty they are having isn’t ‘them’. It isn’t a way to identify them, or take over their personality, it’s just the new situation or ‘normal’ for the time being. Remembering that will help you treat them the same as you always did, and it won’t be as awkward with the new circumstances because it helps them feel ‘in control’ and somewhat their usual self.
Try to do something ‘normal’, out of the ordinary and FUN
The picture of the baby at the top of the post is one of my grand daughters. Right after being born, she was in the NICU also known as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Her brother had been in the hospital for several days which was terrifying.
Stan, my husband, spent much of his time after work at the hospital with the sick grandchildren.
But when he was home, he took the other kids to Sam’s Club (their favorite) for lunch, then to the store to let them pick out their own match-box car.
When they came back to the house, I gave each of them a few washable markers and their own empty toilet paper roll to make a car ‘power station’. They had a blast and it filled the time with creativity and imagination.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, just out of the ordinary and something THEY will enjoy.
Another day does begin
I had some of the grand kids at my house, giving their mom a chance to recuperate with the sick baby.
I put on the musical ‘Bye Bye Birdie’, the one with Ann Margaret. They had the best time watching something they had never seen, and dancing with Birdie as the whole town swooned and fainted – they thought that was pretty funny; acting right along and falling to the ground with the character’s in the movie, as Birdie played his guitar.
Get them up and MOVING
Laughter is a wonderful release from the stress for ALL ages.
Try to provide as much normality as possible in their day by keeping them busy, as appropriate of course.
This provides a way for even little ones to feel somewhat in control, despite the drastic changed schedules and even living circumstances.
‘Helping’ Uncle Dallin clean.
Here is my son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter getting ready to come home from the hospital.
Our little NICU grandbaby was finally allowed to come home!After taking baby CPR classes at the hospital, learning how to run the oxygen machine, classes on how to use monitoring and other devices to help our little grand daughter stay alive, our son Derek remarked:
“Who said kids don’t come with instructions.”
Always try to keep a sense of humor, it goes a LONG way in putting these stressful situations in perspective and dealing with them in a healthy manner.
It seems if we live long enough we will have family and friends who will face challenges of some sort that will require help.
I have complied a little list of ideas that might be useful if you are ever in the situation of wondering how to help and be most useful:
More Suggestions on how to give comfort and relief:
If you are looking for ideas on taking in a meal, I have GREAT information, lots of useful tips and recipes at:
I hope this post has given you tools and resources to empower you, so that you feel comfortable reaching out to anyone in need; whether you barely know them, or they are close family or a dear friend.
We all have ordeals to go through some time in life – that’s just the way it is.
Having a person, an angel, who cares enough about us, our comfort, our family, to ACT and DO something selfless, means more than words can express.
Copyright A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.