Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ advice is sound and applies to far more people than the dying. It definitely works well for those with chronic illness. One of the things that can be the biggest help for someone who is fighting any kind of battle or facing any kind of major change is to just be there for them so that they don’t feel so alone on their journey.
Brené Brown expands on this idea in her video (above) on empathy versus sympathy. Empathy is a beautiful gift you can give to someone. Empathy is support without judgment or blame. For me, one of the most comforting things in the world is the empathetic response of an individual who truly understands or cares. It can make my whole day seem a little less challenging.
When someone is around you is sick, let them know you hate that they are feeling bad. Offer to bring them chicken soup or to run errands for them. If you’re feeling really brave and honest, then offer to just spend your time with them. Oftentimes your presence and support is the greatest gift of all.
© 2014 Green Heart Guidance