What is the best thing to do?


I just found out that a friend from church is in critical care. She is on a ventilator, is in a drug induced comma and has had several pints of blood ( I was out of town when all this happened which is why I just found out). She has been fighting lung cancer so this is very serious. Here is my conflict. Her parents are with her at the hospital and I want to show them that I support them and am here for them, but I don’t know if I am strong enough to see them. A little background on me; 2 1/2 years ago I was right where they are now. My daughter was in a drug induced comma (to stop status epilepticus), on a ventilator and had 2 blood transfusions. My daughter never woke up. She passed away after 4 weeks in a comma. I know this family well and feel awful for not being there to support them. I have sent word that I am praying for them all, offered today’s Mass for them, and have offered to take care of the house, dogs, whatever they need. I am afraid if I go to see them I will 1. remind them of the worst case senario and 2. I will break down and then they will feel obligated to take care of me. I know I didn’t like that when my daughter died. So, What do you guys think? Part of me feels like I need to suck it up, be strong and at least stop by, and part of me thinks they would be better off without me there. Thanks for any help.


I think you should try to see them because you are one of the few people on the planet who can truly sympathize with what they are feeling/fearing, etc. Maybe you can leave really fast if you do feel yourself breaking down. I can’t imagine what you might feel, and what feelings might be brought back to the surface for you. God bless you for wanting to be there for them. And I’m praying for them and their daughter.


I think in times like this, most people are grateful for all the support they can get. If anything, I could see their reaction being, “Oh Monica, thank you for being here even though this must be extra difficult for you to witness.”

You could call them (if they have their cell phones turned on, given it’s a hospital) and see if they’d like company. Or, you could call the nurse on duty and ask her to inquire if they would benefit from your company at this time.

If you break down, that’s okay too. Sometimes the most sincere and authentic expression of grief is what we all find most comforting when our loved ones are suffering. It validates our own feelings and reminds us it’s okay to cry and be devastated. If you DO start feeling like you need to be “taken care of,” as you put it–because it’s true that family members can sometimes feel like they have to put on the straight, brave face when others are sad about a tragedy the family is experiencing–it might be best to excuse yourself and call your husband or a friend and let them know how hard this is for you, and deal with that aspect of your own healing away from these friends of yours.

Just my :twocents:


I can understand your dilemma. My brother was in the hospital and died several years ago. Five months prior to that happening a good friend’s brother also was in the hospital and died. My friend could not come to either the hospital or the funeral, but she has been one of the biggest supports since my brother’s death. I never felt upset that she wasn’t able to be at the hospital or the funeral home for me. She also offered her services in other ways, such as babysitting for my son so I could be there. It wasn’t that she couldn’t see me it was just too much for her to come either to the hospital or to the funeral. I respected that and am eternally grateful for all that she has done. If you don’t feel that you could make it at the hospital then I would recommend that you stay in touch via phone. You have certainly offered your help in other areas. You might consider making a dinner and having someone else take it to the hospital if you can’t go. Someone did this for us and it was wonderful to have homemade food. I don’t think you would be a reminder of the worse case scenerio. At times like these most of us can’t hardly think straight anyway. Most of our energy is being used to handle the situation with which we are currently dealing. Please don’t stress so much about the right decision. In either way you will still be able to support them. You are already doing the very best thing which is praying.


If you do go, maybe you could take someone with you. That way you would have someone to hold your hand if you should “break down.”


You are there for them. You have let them know you are praying and have offered to take care of the house and/or dogs etc. That is enough. If this is all you feel comfortable giving at this time, so be it, just knowing someone is available to take care of the “home front” can be a relief.

Brenda V. (who in a different way has “been there, done that”)

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