What do you say to someone who is suddenly close to death?

@spalladino (17925)
United States
July 11, 2008 12:25pm CST
A local woman, I don't know her very well and didn't see her very often, maybe once a month or so at the local bar. My husband has known her husband for years...he's an auto mechanic in town...but we've never sat down and talked with them so I really know very little about her. As it turns out even her close friends had no idea what she was doing behind closed doors until she was hospitalized last week and diagnosed with late stage liver disease due to alcohol abuse. She's now back home under the care of Hospice. She's on the transplant list but due in part to her age there's little hope that she'll survive long enough to receive a new liver. Her husband says he didn't know she was drinking so much and now, after 30+ years of marriage, he's going to lose her. We live in a very small town, everyone knows everyone else, and so far two friends of mine have told me that her time is very short and that, if I want to stop by to see her, I need to go soon. So, I'm going by her house either this evening or tomorrow, hopefully with my sister-in-law or someone else but, if necessary, I will go alone. I've never been in this situation before with a non family member so I'm really at a loss as to what to say to her, what to talk about. I can't tell her that she looks well. I can't offer her encouragement or anything to look forward to, I can't ramble on about my family...she doesn't know any of them other than my husband...or the weather, the prices of groceries at the U-Save and I don't even know if she has kids who are grown and have moved away. So, any ideas?
1 response
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
11 Jul 08
i had a friend pass away from cancer and rather than talk, actions i found were the biggest thing. make a meal that they can eat or take some desesrts over there, that sort of thing. i think that is the best thing.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
11 Jul 08
That's a good idea, Cher, thanks. I'm not sure what she can eat since she's so sick but poor Dale still needs to eat so I'll take your advice and bring something with me.