How to be a friend to an ill friend
This is a great list, full of ideas – some of them very simple and low-cost – that we wouldn’t all have thought of.
I had come across the frozen-food idea (#22 here) before, in a different context: as a gift for a mother with a new baby. I wish i’d heard of it before i’d had my babies! Home-cooked meals ready to heat n eat, for the days when you’re stuck in your dressing gown till 4pm and can’t get both hands free at the same time to pour a coffee, let alone peel veg. Ah, nostalgia…
I’d add one valuable tip for friends of anyone struggling with illness or disability. ASK. Bring it out into the open, put it into words, ask what would be helpful. They won’t be offended by your not knowing what is help and what is interference; they know you haven’t got their experience. They will be touched (relieved, perhaps) that you care enough to find out. Even something as simple as, ‘Do you prefer to do things yourself or would it be nice if i carried that for you?’ If you’re at a loss, it’s safe to say so – they’re the expert on their own condition. And their state of mind.
It’s even safe to say, ‘I haven’t been in touch for ages because i didn’t know what to talk about with you.’ Chances are your friend will be glad to hear from you more than they’re sad you left it a while.
Because, whether we’re ill or not, the best gift to receive is straightforward friendship. Contact. Being there. Go on, do it this week.
Better still, do it bearing gifts! ;0)