- That person is sick and may or may not know what is wrong.
- That person might say ‘no’ to doing things because of how she feels that day or to limit interaction with others for fear of getting even more sick, like from a cold.
- That person may look “healthy” despite her body’s medical needs.
- That person may take several medications to keep the body going to complete daily tasks.
- That person has to make the simplest of decisions on how it will affect her health.
- That person may be too sick to hold down a typical 9 to 5 job.
4. Plan “spontaneous” acts of kindness for your friend. Once a month, the boys and I get together and put together something fun for her. Sometimes it is homemade card. Sometimes we make tissue paper flowers. Nothing grand. Just something to let her know that we care about her.
5. And, we are always okay if she says NO to an offer of help. There have been a couple of times in the past year where Sarah needed to say no to an offer of help or a gesture of kindness. That is okay. The purpose of reaching out is to help Sarah, to make sure she doesn’t feel alone, and to uplift her.
Although it is important that the boys are learning to help others as we help Sarah, they are also gaining so much from it. Sarah is funny and warm with them. They love lapping up the attention she gives with her jokes and her hugs (just so you know, not all our friends that are chronically ill like to hug–that’s okay). My boys also learn just how great it is to be healthy and that they should always be grateful for that.
Did someone come to mind while reading this? Do you have a friend or a loved one that is chronically ill? How do you help them?
You might also like reading about how the boys took a magic show to a friend in the hospital (this friend also lives with a chronic illness).