My good friend’s dad has terminal cancer. I’ve never had the feeling of knowing someone is going to die soon, so I don't know what to say to him. I don’t know how to act around him in normal circumstances or at times when I want to comfort him.
How can I still act normal around him for most of the time, and what can I say to comfort him in this difficult time?
I’m really sorry to hear about you’re friend and his dad. Losing someone special is always hard and it’s as painful to watch your friend go through it all. However, don’t over think what you can do to comfort him because you’re care and concern is the start of everything that he’ll need.
Be a Cheerleader
Although you’ve never been in your friend’s situation, I would definitely encourage you to try to see it in his view. Would you want everyone to be constantly reminding you of what is going on by acting awkward around him? Or would you rather have your friends there to cheer you up and just be there for you? This isn’t to suggest that you make your friend completely ignore what’s going on, but to make sure that he’s not totally brought down by this.
In order to truly comfort your friend, you can also be a bit upfront about it. Tell him that you are aware of what’s going. Acknowledge it. And then, ask him what you can do or what he wants you to do in terms of supporting him. Then, just listen. You don’t need to bring it up again and again if you don’t know what to say because that just might make him feel awkward too. Whether or not he talks, simply be there to show that you’ll be with him entirely.
As your friend goes through these difficult times, pay more attention to his every word and action and he’ll know that he’s not alone.
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POSTED ON 4/6/2010 6:41:00 PM