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Life-limiting illness

Sad news

3 replies

MusicMum18 · 12/04/2016 10:39

Hi,
The husband of my old work colleague/friend has just been told he has 12 weeks left to live. I don't see my friend as often as when we worked together but we meet up once in a while. We all got made redundant so all my old work colleagues and me are like a little family really. When we get tougher it's like no time has passed! We've all been through tough times together.
I know her husband fairly well, he is such a lovely person and it just seems so unfair. He has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
I really want to offer support to my friend but no words or actions seem anywhere near enough. I can't verbalise what I would like to say. I'm ignorant of how she feels, I don't have any idea how she's living each day at the moment. And the some goes for her husband too, I would love to be able to help, but I feel helpless. I wish I could take the pain away.
We're meeting up with them soon, but I'm nervous about seeing them, I don't know what I would say. I suppose the best thing is to carry on as normal, but it seems like such a hard thing to ignore! But then if that is what they need then that's what I will do.
I'm just feeling really sad for them, and want to support them but don't know how.
They have lots of friends that live nearer to them, they haven't contacted me directly, a mutual friend told me as she didn't want to keep repeating the sad news.
I suppose I'm posting because I want to help but don't know how. Plus I feel sad and I'm struggling to think of anything else this morning other than my friends. He's only in his late 40s.

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BackforGood · 13/04/2016 00:05

It is difficult, but the last thing your friend needs is her friends avoiding her because they don't know what to say.
I'd just be honest
"I've never been very good at knowing the right words so I don't know what on earth to say to you except to let you know you can ask me for any help whatsoever. I'm happy to listen if you want to talk, or I'm happy to witter on about nothing if you want to be distracted from it all for an hour. You tell me" type of thing.

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Somerville · 13/04/2016 00:10

Write her a letter along the lines of what you've written in your post. It will be appreciated.

Don't be offended if you don't hear back right now.

Keep in touch with them/her regularly.

No it's not fair and cancer fucking sucks but the support they get from friends like you will help.

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MusicMum18 · 13/04/2016 18:59

Thanks for your advice. I think it's a good idea to write a letter, it's hard to come across exactly as you intend when it's face to face as I find it emotionally easier to write things down. I keep a diary and it does help when I'm emotional/cross/sad etc. Yes, I'll write her a letter, then at least she knows I'm there for her. I just can't believe it still. It's so terrible. This kind of thing happens to way too many people.

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