You learn that an acquaintance has a terminal illness and he is receiving treatment. Before you can send a note or a card, you bump into him on the street. What do you say? Are there any words of comfort for a terminal illness?
Many of us face this dilemma. We send cards, write notes, express our concern, but when placed face-to-face with the individual dealing with loss, we just can not fathom what comforting words to say.
Whether someone is terminally ill or dealing with sudden or shocking death, their world is turned upside down. It is hard to function in that state of mind and yet, here they are, trying to continue their lives in the spirit in which they have lived. So when you see them at work, at a meeting, on the street, or in a restaurant, an appropriate response is, “I’m so glad to see you,” said with a handshake, a hug, or whatever greeting feels appropriate.
Do not avoid or shy away from someone dealing with illness or loss. Greet them and let them know you care. And do it every time you see them. It is how each of us would like to be treated in our time of need.