Maya Angelou was a successful author, poet and civil rights activist. While she had a tumultuous childhood, as an adult she surrounded herself with people who inspired her and were uplifting. It's wonderful how she continues to encourage and energize so many people even after her death.
Recently, our work family was hit with a terrible blow. One of our own was diagnosed with a very ugly illness. I think all of us are still trying to come to grips with the diagnosis but also stay positive. We all want to do something, anything to help our friend through this scary time. But we also don't want to be intrusive. Being a rainbow in someone else's cloud sounds perfect.
While doing my research for this post, I have come across several articles on being a good friend during a serious illness. The first thing to remember is, it's about them! What they need and want from you. I did see similarities to everything I read; Notes, texts and calls are nice. But keep them short and sweet. Phone calls may not be welcomed all the time and that's ok. Visits can sometimes help them not feel isolated. But be sure you ask before you visit. Consider visiting on a Tuesday morning instead of the weekend or evening when a lot of people want to visit. Share things they enjoy while you're visiting. Also, conversations should help them have moments of joy. Such as talking about pets, traveling and etc. Running errands and bringing them silly or sweet gifts are great ways to help. And finally, remember the caregiver. Ask what they need. Maybe sit with their loved one while they take a short walk or run to the store.
Now I know that some people are more private than others but with a little listening, you should be able to figure out what they are comfortable with. And if it's nothing right know then that's ok. It is about them anyway.