Two of my friends are facing serious health issues. One guy just received a Parkinson’s diagnosis, the other friend is bipolar.
We often don’t know what to say in times like these. “I’m sorry” seems too little and an overreaction comes across as pity or, worse, condescension.
In both cases I simply asked, “What can I do?”
We almost always know what we need and too often other people don’t have a clue.
With both friends, at least for now, what they needed were two things: for me to listen, and distraction from the current situation.
So, I listened and told them jokes and tales about my skydiving adventures.
Before long both were laughing and I could see their stress levels, at least for the moment, dropping.
What you have to realize is that, as much as you’d like, you can’t cure or fix other people. They know it and you know it. What you can do is take them to a place where, again, at least for a moment, life is close to what it was before they entered their new reality.
Everyone has someone who needs a call and a, “What can I do?”
Pick up the phone or send a text. Do it right now.