It is the same for the bald mom at your child’s school or the sweet woman in a wheelchair at the coffee shop.
I know through my own experiences, discussions can be awkward and sometimes it feels easier to say nothing instead of the wrong thing.
Here are some easy words to say to the woman that has multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer or one of the many other illnesses that plague otherwise healthy individuals.
1. Hello! How are you? (Eye contact is important here).
2. How do you feel today? (Be prepared for a standard, “I’m fine” response).
3. I am going grocery shopping today; can I pick you up anything? (Going to large and loud stores can be exhausting, grabbing something for dinner, milk for coffee or toilet paper can be very helpful).
4. Can I pick up your child from school or bring them to my home for a few hours? (Yes, good for the kids, good for mom).
5. If you are up to it, would you like to meet for coffee/lunch/wine? (There will be times I will have to cancel, but I really enjoy the days when it works out and we can talk).
If you feel tongue tied, hugs are also appreciated and loved.
Just remember we are people living life with a little less energy, more pain and stress. Illnesses cause isolation and to know that there are others nearby that care and want to help, means so much.
Are there certain words that you like to hear? Please share, it will be helpful to others.