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Ginny, Ann, Pat, Beth, etc--I need advice


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One of my closest friends here is losing her husband

(also my friend) to pancreatic cancer. He is very close to the end of the journey.

I want to support her in any way I can... So far we've been making dinner for them every few days and taking it over, I've called every day to check in, we've run errands, etc. etc.

I guess--can you give me some direction? I've been in the shoes of a child losing her Mom, but not of a wife losing her husband... What ways did people help you? What ways do you WISH people would have helped--and what 'helpful things' did people do that just really weren't helpful. I know she will have a lot of paperworky things to wade through, and I know that will overwhelm her. She doesn't have kids and her other familial support is kind of spotty.

Anyway--any suggestions?

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Val, here are a couple of things that friends did that I truly appreciated.

1. One friend checked in with me everyday and then did an email to all the 'need to knows' updating everything and suggested where help might be needed.

2. Another friend just sort of showed up. You have no idea how good that made me feel.

3. Another friend that was a nurse was there whenever, to clean a trach or help change the hospital bed or just to even me out when needed.

Real friends are one of God's greatest gifts and I have many that someday I hope I can offer them the help they gave me.

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Sometimes A Cup of tea and an Ear to listen as well as a dry shoulder can be a great thing to offer.

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Dear Val,

What you are doing right now is perfect - absolutely perfect! You are DOING something instead of just telling them to let you know if they need anything.

To me, the most important thing is to not be afraid to talk about it, ask about it, and don't act like it isn't happening. Probably the thing that helped me the most was people asking me how things were going and then really hanging around for a minute or two to listen and respond, and actually ask questions - that shows genuine interest! The thing that hurt me the most was people that never asked me how things were going.

After the fact, the thing that would help me the most is exactly the same as above.

So, just always remember your friend now and later! You are doing just great!



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You are such a dear person.

I am sure that your honest wanting to help shines through constantly.

I think for me the biggest thing was/is sincerity.

You can't fake caring.

No one can.

I can tell who really cares and who gives lip service to caring.

I am surprised at some who just think of me as a duty to cross off their list and blessed and humbled by the faithful humans who see me as a real whole person and not 'what is left'.

I think you are doing what Abba asks us to do for His children.

May He bless you and................I am sure you can trust your instincts.

Lots of love.............and wishing you were my neighbor..............


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Just be a physical presence for your friend as often as you can. Many people would call and say that if I needed anything, give them a call. When someone was standing in front of me, it was easier to ask them to do this or do that. As your friend's spouse gets closer to the end of his journey, offer support by reminding others that may be there to give the two of them a moment or two alone every so often. That, for me, was the hardest thing to get over. There were so many others that wanted to be with Bill at the end and I felt like I was cheated of some one-on-one time once the clock was really ticking.

One more thing...LOTS of hugs. The touch of another human being is amazing and healing. And when the dust settles in a few weeks and you THINK she is doing okay; don't believe it and continue to offer some support.

You're a wonderful friend Val, just because you are going out and looking for ways to be a better friend. She is lucky to have you.

My prayers will be with you.


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