Deathbed support for 30 year old friend - what can we do?
August 29, 2014 11:19 PM Subscribe
A dear friend (female, early 30s) is at the end of her battle with cancer. Our circle of close friends is spread out all over the country. We've been sending gifts, visiting, pooling money together for cleaning and dog walking, etc for a year. But we're in the final month or two, she's in pain (just now starting to turn to palliative care) and I'd love some ideas on how we can support her and her husband.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There is a Facebook group where people are constantly posting little supportive messages. We all have signed up for stem cell match programs, etc.
1. We've been sending books and art and stuff, got her an iPad, Netflix, etc. There is a current fundraiser that has raised thousands of dollars already and we've had a few other thousand dollar+ fundraisers. Are there things we should be sending now that would be more useful for both her and her husband?
2. Should people try to visit? She has been refusing visits from friends that live nearby, but when they show up, she grudgingly receives them. We all worry that if we fly to her that it will be difficult and overwhelming for her. She will say no if we ask. Her husband is probably too distraught to make a decision. If we try to visit, should we go in small groups or alone? If we visit, what can we do when we are with her?
3. How can we talk about this realistically with her - both online and on the phone and in person if a visit can happen? Do we pretend that she is not dying and try to talk about other stuff?
4. There is a broader circle of people that have been donating money, sending support, etc. but only a dozen of us know really how bad it is (in our friendship circle, obviously other spheres of her life have people that know too). She did not tell us directly - she is pretty vague right now in her posts to the Facebook group - but her husband tells one of the closer group and then we all know. What is appropriate in terms of letting the outer circles know how bad things are? I assume that they would want to know, but what's appropriate in terms of her privacy? When there have been downturns in the past, I've quietly sent an email to one or two key people in the broader circle and assume that they'll tell their close people quietly too. Should we do this again?
Anonymous out of respect for her privacy.