Supporting roles

We end up doing the wrong thing when we struggle emotionally to do what we know is the right thing, but just can’t bring ourselves to do it.

Emotionally we’re not always equipped to deal with everything that life throws at us, but what happens when someone is dealing with a terminal illness and they need support? I believe we all come out of our comfort zone at one time or another when we’re dealing with someone who has a terminal illness. For most of us, it can be an enormously uncomfortable and stressful experience.

In the last year I’ve watched my father struggle with his terminal illness. At one point during his illness, I’d even gone so far as to tell that I may not be there at the final hurdle. His response was that he knew his children and knew I would be the one to struggle. I’ve always shied away from illness for that very reason.

Unfortunately, for many of us dealing with illness is our greatest fear. Fear changes the way we perceive and deal with those situations; but we must at least try or if we can’t, let the other person know how we feel. I am under no illusion on what I’ve just been through, but having watched the inevitable happen with my father, just picking up the phone to see how someone is, is probably the least we can do.


24 Mar, 2013

4 thoughts on “Supporting roles

  1. I agree with you. I’ve had several people call just to see how mom is doing. We tend to appreciate those calls most of all.

    Being around someone that has a terminal illness can be awkward sometimes. You don’t know what to say.

    Just talking about things that are going on in your life and the other person’s family is a start. You can’t really get around talking about the illness.

    Asking how they are doing seems okay, but taking it further may be uncomfortable to you and the other person. Just be yourself.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I agree with your sentiments. I also think we have to do whatever we feel comfortable with of course, but not doing anything isn’t always the best option!

      Unfortunately in hard times, we will always remember those who don’t support us when we need their support the most.

  2. Everything you have said here is true, having gone through the same situation with my mother. I was so lucky to have a friend who had gone through it with her parents to guide and assist me through the rough patches.

    She always knew how to help me when I needed it. I am forever grateful to her for that.

    I miss her still almost as much as I miss my beloved mother.

    1. Thanks Randy. It helps to have someone in our life who is there for us when we need them the most. I’m pleased you had that.

      Some of us just aren’t that lucky.

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