How do I deal...when my BFF's dad is dying?

My best friend just learned that her dad only has six months left to live. I'm so torn up about this. What can I do to make her feel better now? What about in six months? I have no clue what she'll do and I have no clue what I should do in that situation. We hang out together a lot and she hates sympathy, but I feel so useless! What can I do to help her?

I’m sorry, sistah. That’s such a sad situation. And unfortunately, no one has any idea about what you’ll do in that situation until it happens to you. The best thing you can do is simply be there for your friend. Be the best friend you can be.

Ask her what she wants you to do. That’s really the best way to find out what she’s comfortable with. If she wants to cry, simply hold her. If she wants to talk, just listen. Don’t push her, and don’t ask too many questions. Just let her vent and just let her let it out. Try not to say things like, “I know how you feel.” Or, “I know what you’re going through.” Because the truth is, babe, you probably have no idea!

Since she hates sympathy she might want a good distraction from all the drama she’s dealing with at home. If she wants to laugh and forget everything that’s going on, suggest a girl’s night complete with her fave snacks and DVDs. Just be there for her any way that you can.

In six months when her dad dies, she'll need even more support and sympathy. She'll definitely be super upset and once again, offer your shoulder to cry on. Give her space to grieve on her own but also make sure that she doesn't fall into a depression. Keep tabs on your girl at all times and don't let her push you away. She may miss some school at this time so it's your job to make sure she's up on all her assignments. Show up on her doorstep with her fave cookies. Make her a collage with silly pics of the two of you from happier times. Help her out however you can.

So, the best thing you can do right now is just be there for your girl. Good luck, girlie, I know you’re a great friend.

Lots of love,

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3/18/2009 7:00:00 AM