When a friend or family has the flu, breaks a bone or experiences an illness that is treatable we generally have some idea how to offer support. Be it with a good ol' batch of homemade chicken soup or offering to take on some chore that they need done, being there for them is relatively easy. But when their illness is difficult to treat and possibly life threatening such as cancer, it is often difficult to know what to do or say.
On Facebook I have seen so many posts that are meant to be in support of cancer patients and their families that to me seem more written to shame people into copying and sharing them. This inspired me to create a more supportive meme. First drawing from my personal experience dealing with friends and family with devastating illnesses I wrote a poem. Then I created a composite art print to express those feelings.
|Available in print and greeting card format here.|
After creating this I shared it to Facebook with the following message:
"We may be strangers or maybe neighbors, perhaps we're family or just friends it really doesn't matter for we share a deep connection. A connection we wish did not exist but sadly binds us together. A connection of knowing the sorrow, pain and fear of watching a loved one battle cancer. While there may be little that we can physically do, we can offer our support, understanding and prayers.I created this image and poem in support of all those who have helplessly watched as a loved one battled cancer although I can see how it applies to other devastating illnesses as well. I did this because I have seen so many posts that are meant to be in support of cancer patients and their families that to me seem more written to shame people into copying and sharing them. So please if you want to share this post or copy and paste it in your status go right ahead, or if you just want to share the image that is perfectly fine. I would like to dedicate this to not only my family and friends who have been through such heartache but also to all who have experienced it as well. I am adding the names of my loved ones who have suffered the ravages of cancer and invite you to add your loved ones names as well, and suggest that we all click like on the names to offer our support or prayers to the individual and their loved ones. However strange this may sound we share the bond of sorrow."
My late husband suffered a chronic illness that eventually cut his life short and to me one of the most supportive acts of friends and family was their willingness not only to acknowledge our pain but to offer a distraction. Have you gone through such an illness with your family or friends? What did you find most supportive?