Dear Barb – Making Peace

Dear Barb:

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. We have been friends for many years and I was devastated by this diagnosis and didn’t know what to say to her. She and her husband seem to be handling it well. I feel so awful for them. The only thing I know about the disease is that it was named after a baseball player and that the scientist, Stephen Hawking has had it for many years. I just wish I knew the right words to say to my friend. Do you have any suggestions on how I can be supportive? Thanks so much Sandra.

Hi Sandra:

How unfortunate for your friend and her husband. Lou Gehrig’s is a devastating diagnosis.

The main thing you can do is support your friend, and that may mean many things. For example, be a friend, don’t be afraid to discuss the disease with your friend and her husband. Look it up on the internet, that way you will understand some of what your friend is going through, but don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. I don’t know how involved you want to get, but they will eventually need support with preparing meals, housecleaning, transportation, the list is endless. If that is not what you want to do, you can just visit and discuss what’s going on in the world or some of your common interests, such as books or movies you both like. If she is able, you can take her out to a movie. Her husband will also need a break, so offer to sit with your friend while he does chores, or goes out for lunch with a friend of his own. But really, you should ask them what they need from you. Everyone needs a special friend. Thanks for writing in Sandra.

Dear Barb:

My parents divorced when I was quite young. My dad left and I have not seen him for twenty years. Recently he contacted me and wants to see me. I don’t know what to do, I have made peace with the fact that he chose not be a part of my life and I am reluctant to see him again. My sister has agreed to meet him and she says I should see him so I can make peace with my past. I’m not sure what to do, thanks, Mark.

Hey Mark:

Thanks for your question. This scenario is all too common these days. What you choose to do is a personal decision. Sometimes we think we have made peace with our past, but upon deeper investigation, we have really just pushed it away. My advice would be to go with your sister and listen to what your father has to say. Most likely he is at a point in his life where he wants to make amends with his children and I really believe you should allow him that opportunity. It will bring you both peace, whether you choose to continue a relationship with him or not. I hope this was helpful. Good Luck.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

%d bloggers like this: