I have written about giving clutter free gifts and how to give the gifts of experiences instead of clutter. But what about gift giving when the recipient is in a health crisis?
So many of us are clueless as to what to do so we do nothing. But I have a friend who posted the most amazing list of what you can do when a friend, family member or even an acquaintance is battling for their health.
I personally have watched good friends and my own son have battles and I sometimes don’t know what to do or say. I worry about saying the wrong thing. I worry about offending in some way. So, this list is exactly what I was looking for.
Beth is post cancer treatment and still active with many medical appointments. We have visited how battling cancer is a full-time job, maneuvering all the medical appointments. I have watched her graciously post how her final hair on her body, her bottom eyelash, was hanging on and refusing to go. Or how her nails we in so much pain and were about to fall off and it was too painful to even walk. I learned what chemo fatigue is. She showed me the ugly side of cancer while still educating me in how the human spirit is resilient.
In Beth’s words, here are her top things that she appreciated.
There are SO many people battling — if you feel like you want to do something — don’t say “let me know if you need anything” – because they won’t let you know. Trust me, I didn’t even know what I needed and it’s hard to ask. No matter how shitty you feel. Just do. Do whatever it is you feel. Send a card — seriously it’s like $2 + postage — and the ‘value’ to the receiver is priceless — those hundreds of cards I got over the past year were better than any medicine. Send a text, email or PM on Facebook message if you are thinking of someone — and don’t expect a reply — battling cancer is a fulltime fkin job. Somedays I wondered where 12 hours went. Gifts from the heart are so appreciated — they don’t NEED to be cancer or treatment related — shoveling a sidewalk, handmade blanket, etc. Food is good — even when you aren’t eating — you have guests, peeps and other who will eat it — cookies, dinner, banana bread — made with love and dropped off randomly is amazing — and appreciated.. Cheers & Support — when first diagnosed I asked people to get on board and remind me that “I got this”! A fellow Kiwanian out running detoured down my driveway to high-five me and say “you got this!” My UPS driver high-fived me in Central Market and said “you got this!”
And the list goes on and on and on.
To all those battling — “YOU got this!” And I’m gonna pass out high-fives in 2017 like candy! #fkcancer
So, to all the Beth’s out there who are battling an illness, YOU got this! Don’t be afraid to reach out to the ill person because as Beth said, they don’t even know what they want.
I would add just one thing to the list, show up. This is what I have done in the past, I show up. Drive the miles to let them know they are not alone. Even if it is just to sit with them in silence as they get treatment, show up. And as you get up to leave, give a high five and shout “YOU got this!”