A friend of mine shared this via Twitter tonight:
Family made a decision for a DNR order tonight. Hard night for me.
It’s been just a week since she told me that her father was in the hospital. Less than that since they found out it was cancer. Mere days since they started using the word “fatal.”
A week ago everything was fine. Today her family made the decision to sign a Do-Not-Resucitate Order.
I know what she’s feeling. No, my Dad didn’t have cancer. My Dad had Parkinson’s Disease. His slide from wellness to death took years, not days. I had time to know that it was coming, to understand that the disease was going to cause his death, to know that he wasn’t going to get better. I had years. But it was still sudden.
I want to help her, be supportive, do something to help ease her burdens and fears and anger and helplessness. I want to be a good friend.
How do you help a friend in this kind of situation? When my Dad passed away I just wanted everyone to leave me alone. I didn’t want well-wishers, condolences, or well-intentioned sympathy.
I’m not quite certain if I need to go to the hospital and hug her, even as she sits amidst her family. Am I supposed to call her to make sure she’s taking care of herself while she tries to take care of her family? Should I pop in and bring lunch or dinner, making sure everyone eats?
What’s appropriate, while ensuring that I’m not intruding?
I know that I’m going to pray for her. I know that I’m going to keep in contact. Other than that, I will see if I can actually be helpful.