Monday, October 31, 2011

tip #11 simple graces

My friend Lois, who's mother was recovering from surgery, said a friend came over and changed her mother's sheets so she had fresh linens to sleep in. I thought I'd post a list of things that I've seen be  simple graces that can have a lot of meaning for a person dealing with illness.

--fill the gas tank
--clean the fridge
--take out the trash
--bring over supper AND a sandwich for lunch
--write a card but keep it simple--even reading a long note can take too much effort
--bring over beverages. Medications can do a number on your taste buds. I like to head over to our neighborhood bodega and select a variety of Mexican sodas to bring. Sometimes you get weary of the 7-up and ginger ale and find the tamarind or pineapple soda is just right.
--JUST sit
--shovel the snow/rake the leaves/mow the lawn
--offer to make some insurance company calls 
--if you are visiting on the phone, offer to read the paper or a book--allows for companionship while limiting the amount of talking the sick person needs to do to keep up his/her end of the conversation.
--take the caregiver for a walk

AND, our family has benefited in our bereavement time from these supports:

--two extended family members brought campers and parked them on my parents' driveway to give us extra bedrooms and space.
--on our block here in Chicago it is a tradition for the neighbors to help the family prepare for the funeral; they come and take shirts and suits to the cleaners, shine shoes, do store runs for clothing items, wash the car. Anne Mette took Paul shopping for a suit and arrange tailoring. Sharon Johnson made sure Andy and Seth were ready with their clothes.

Please add more ideas in comments.

3 comments:

I quilt for fun said...

One of our traditions is to bring paper/plastic plates, cups, napkins,paper towels, staples and leave them outside the door of the bereaved family. While I fully support recycling, there are times when not doing a lot of dishes as people wander in/out of house at various times is a gift. We buy a LOT so they can use freely and not have to ration.

I'm sorry for your loss. I know this is hard. I've been through the sudden death of a parent and a prolonged death of the other. They are both hard in their own way. Jan

Anonymous said...

You have the best ideas, Lynn.
xxooSharon

Anonymous said...

When I take a meal for others, I always take some muffins and juice for breakfast as well. Even if it's store bought, it's an nice touch.

Another idea; when you're at the grocery store call and ask them if they need anything brought by. I've been asked to pick up dishwasher detergent. Something so simple probably made a big difference.

Carolyn in NC