Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Friends Do

I know I've been MIA again, and it wasn't that long ago that I promised not to do that. Sorry. Mostly I've been busy just trying to cope day-to-day and do my best for my family. There haven't been any new developments to mention, although the next couple months will have me making my rounds of doctors here again. It's funny the way they periodically end up grouped together even though each doctor wants me checking in on different schedules.

I was reading an article on the LA Times website about the many ways people tell friends and family (or keep them updated) on bad news, such as health problems or deaths. I found it interesting that the degree of closeness between the person and her friends and relatives affected how the recipients felt about learning bad news electronically. It makes sense that people don't like to hear bad news from someone they feel close to via email, blogs or Facebook, and yet as the one who has shared bad news that way, I understand why people do that. 

But that's not why I poked my head in today. In that article, there's a website called What Friends Do that I'd never heard of. 

There are many sites out there that are specifically intended to help people dealing with a serious health problem (such as cancer, a premature baby, etc.) keep friends and family updates. They include CaringBridge and CarePages, both of which close friends of ours have used to keep their wide circles of support updated. 

But WhatFriendsDo.com does something I haven't seen before. It's a place to organize a meal train, visits, concrete ways to help a family dealing with a health crisis. I love the way the site gives suggestions for the random acts of kindness you can do to help someone out. They give every day a different theme for ideas of what to do, and also offer other ideas that might be more appealing or appropriate for a specific situation. They also offer suggestions of things to say, and advice for helping people who haven't been through a similar situation understand why, for instance, the friend in need that they want to help out isn't calling to ask them to do a specific task when they said, "Call if there's anything we can do to help."

And I love their motto: "We may not be able to change the outcome, but we hope to change the journey." 

Check it out, and keep it in mind next time someone close to you is in crisis. Or the next time someone asks you what they can do to help you out, this could be a great place to point them.

1 comment:

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