“I’m very sorry. What can I do to help?”

That’s all that a sick friend needs to hear from you. Two sentences. Nine words. Too often, what they hear instead is silence — you don’t know what to say, you’re afraid to say the wrong thing, and so the friend winds up feeling abandoned in a time of need. Or, just as bad, friends will weigh in with unsolicited advice, or insensitive comments.

The best thing to do is to be present. And to listen. And respond.

More thoughtful comments and experiences from patients can be found in the NY Times blog piece on “When friends disappear during a health crisis.”

Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C. listed in Best Lawyers Rated by Super Lawyers Patrick A. Malone
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