Creative, frugal ways to show a sick friend you care

For My Sick Friend

contributed by Linda H.

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My mother is in a care home and this takes up most of my time, but a close friend was very ill this entire last year. I was not able to help out much except in the morale department.

I did go to the expense of taking her flowers once in a vase I already had on the premises. For someone who is an avid gardener, they should be able to enjoy the flowers while they are here rather than send them when they pass on. Even one rose in one of those little floral water tubes will do.

She was very close to my family and watched my daughter grow up, so I took the granddaughters to visit her when it was appropriate. So many people love little children, and it cheers them up. Later I gave her a wallet-size picture of them in one of those cheap clear acrylic frames to remind her of the times they had visited her. Seeing that picture was like another visit when she looked at it and thought about their previous visit. She carried that picture from hospital to nursing home and back to hospital several times. And she always kept it close by.

I contacted all her friends that I knew of to tell them that she was very ill and asked them to send cards and to contact others she knew that I wouldn't know and ask them to do the same. She got a lot more cards and visits than she would have otherwise.

As she got worse, I wrote her a letter about how much she meant to me. I included a lot of the fun things we had done together and the sad times when we had supported each other over the 35 years of our friendship. That seemed to be what meant the most to her. She read it over and over and every time a visitor came she had them read it. When she died, the minister used parts of the letter at the memorial service that spoke to the kind of person she was and how she cared/gave to others.

And when they had to take her to a Hospice house near the end, I went along, let her know I was there, and then mostly stepped back and tried to support her family. I went after food for them, etc.

Sometimes one is not in a position to make and take food or watch children, but there are other little things that can mean so much.

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