Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Do You Say?

We have all known someone who just lost a loved one, or someone who was just diagnosed with cancer or another life-altering disease.  Did you find yourself wanting to express your compassion for them, but you just were not sure what to say?  We have had several situations in which people have responded to our losses or diagnoses.  For us, no response was wrong.  Maybe you just give the person a hug and let them know you care for them.  It could be showing up at their home with food or sending a card.

When it came to my cancer first diagnosis, I was just fine with someone using the word cancer.  There are always those who are in denial after receiving the bad diagnosis and don't want to discuss it, but I would encourage you to express your concern and support.  Let them know that you will be there when they need someone to help or listen.

I find myself  unsure of what to say to someone at times. Plus, I am an emotional person and I don't want to show a lot of emotion when I approach someone, because I don't want to cause them to get emotional.  Most likely, they are in that phase or have been.  In those case when I am emotional, I don't say a lot.  I simply say "I'm very sorry for your loss", or "Call me if I you need anything" or simply give them a hug.  Once you say something, then it opens the door for more conversation.  

The "Feel, Felt, Found" approach may be something you use.  It goes something like this--I know how you feel.  My brother was recently diagnosed with cancer and he felt there was little hope in having a long future, but what we found has that by discussing a positive result from treatments, he found hope in moving forward.

Everyone needs to know that people are there for support, whether they want to admit it, or not.  When others show that they are concerned about us, then we feel blessed to have those kinds of friends.  Let people know that you care and don't worry about how your words come out.  The important thing is to be sincere and your intent will come through.

No comments: