When a friend has been sick or injured, it’s typically custom to send a get well or sympathy card, but what happens when you know that person won’t get better? Whether you know someone who has been involved in a serious accident or diagnosed with a terminal illness, chances are, you’ll experience this situation at some point in your lifetime.
Comforting someone who is terminally ill presents a tricky – and albeit, uncomfortable – situation. You don’t want to give your friend a card that assumes he or she will return to full health, but you also don’t want to send a sympathy card for impending sorrow. Though it may be difficult to decide on an appropriate gift, it’s still important that you make an effort to show your loved one you care and you’re there to help. Here are three gift ideas for someone who is terminally ill:
1. Sending a ‘thinking of you’ card
Michelle Colon-Johnson has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer five times and has survived. According to AgingCare.com, as someone who has experienced terminal illness firsthand, Colon-Johnson often preferred not to talk about the situation at all.
“If I wanted to talk about the cancer, it felt good to know I could talk to others, but I never wanted to be treated differently,” said Colon-Johnson.
A “thinking of you” card offers a way for you to let a loved one know you’re available to talk if and when that person is ready. Include supportive words like “I’m always here if you need someone to talk to or even if you need someone to just sit next to you, watch TV and not talk at all.” Maybe point out some of the characteristics you love about this person. For example, you could say, “I admire your positive outlook. You inspire me every day.”
Your presence may be the most important gift you can give to someone who is terminally ill. Building a scrapbook with pictures of you, your loved one and all your friends makes it seem like you’re by his or her side even when you can’t physically be there. Incorporate plenty of crafty designs on the scrapbook pages and maybe write a funny caption next to each photo. Not only will the bright colors and fun details bring a smile to the recipient’s face, but the extra time you took to dress up the pages is a gift in itself.
3. Baked goods
Who doesn’t love a warm, soft-baked cookie? From the nostalgic scent to the delicious taste, sweet treats will brighten anyone’s day, and doing that for someone who is terminally ill is a great gift. So, whip up your famous homemade snacks, wrap them up in a cute container and bring them to your loved one. Not only will they enjoy these yummy sweets, but it gives you a chance to visit and chat.
When trying to help someone who is terminally ill, sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all. Take the time to enjoy each other’s company and do what you can to make his or her days joyful.