It’s not that hard to play nursemaid for close friends or family, but what’s most important about an ill friend or family member is to mean what you say. Not just “I’m here if you need me.” Or, “Call me if you need anything.”
Here are few other words and actions to help comfort someone:
“I am so sorry that you are going through this.”
“I understand, and I am here if you want to talk about it or need anything.”
“I have the whole weekend off. I’m coming over Saturday with a bag of groceries to help you do anything you need in your apartment.”
“You’ve got this! I need you to focus on getting better.”
“Have you seen the latest documentary on the royal family? It’s terrific. I’ll come to watch it with you.”
“I’m ordering some food on Grubhub tonight. Would you feel like sushi or noodles?”
“I just finished a fascinating book about spies during World War II. I ordered you the same book; it should be in your mailbox in two days.”
“Your strength inspires me, so please don’t try to carry this burden alone. That’s what friends are for!”
“Just checking in to let you know I’m thinking about you, and I’m here if you need anything.” (If you say it, mean it).
“I will be praying for you.”
Cuddling with my niece Charlotte when she was a patient at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.