someone in the hospital doesn't
have to be awkward and uncomfortable.
Real people share what makes a difference
to them when someone visits.
of us have had the opportunity to
go and visit a friend with an illness
or injury in the hospital. It can
be a pleasant experience as they
welcome you with a smile, or they
may cry as you offer prayer and
comfort. But oftentimes we wish
we had the training of a hospital
chaplain so it wouldn't be so be
awkward. For those members in your
church, all of these situations
can be frightening.
Despite the fact that yesterday
you were easily conversing as you
hit golf balls together, today,
he sees you coming and plunges under
the covers. Perhaps you were having
a moment of fellowship outside your
local grocery store. Do people really
want you to come see them in that
scanty gown? Should you bring a
card? A gift? What are you supposed
to talk about as the nurses breeze
in and out of the room? Should you
try to cheer the person up? Pray?
are some suggestions from chronically
ill people who have spent time in
the hospital. Feel free to reprint
thisin your church newsletter as
a resource guide to better equip
your church with some special tools
for hospital visitations.
wish people would just ask 'What
can I do to help?' If they could
just bring me a sandwich or make
me some iced tea...little things.
Words like, 'I admire your strength
in what you're going through'
would bring me comfort."
brought me a little bottle of
perfume and it just what I needed!"
I am ill enough to be hospitalized,
lots of visitors are not comforting.
I feel I have to entertain. I
prefer that they not stay too
long and add to my distress. I
do appreciate when they bring
sources of spiritual healing,
for example, a Guidepost magazine."
keep me occupied in bed, I enjoy
spiritual tapes to listen to and
spiritual music to keep me occupied."
have a friend who is a great laugher.
It's infectious and I always feel
better being around her."
would like friends to say, 'Is
there anything I can do for you?
I know that you are hurting; Could
I say a little prayer for you
to maybe ease the pain a little?'"
wish friends would offer their
help and just call to say hi.
Nice words are a pick-me-up. 'You're
in my prayers' is a good one.
It makes me realize that someone
is praying for me. That seems
better than praying by myself.
The disease is lonely enough."
best gift while I was in the hospital
was a box of crayons and a color
book from my 5- year-old granddaughter."
is always good (except just after
surgery). I just had a spleenectomy
and my friends came in and started
cracking jokes thinking that making
me laugh would be good. At that
point it did make me laugh, but
I ripped my stitches a bit and
had lots of pain. So..."
daughter sent updates to all of
my on-line friends. Then she made
copies of their encouraging words,
scriptures, and prayers and brought
them to the hospital." -Martha
that have brought me comfort were
a new crochet book and a skein
or yarn or thread, a pretty get-well
card, a phone call from an old
friend, some homemade cookies
and can of soda." -Judy
love to get mail, or pick up the
phone to find a friend on the
other end. I hope they understand
that if I don't respond enthusiastically
it may be that my medications
have me kind of zoned out or I'm
just having a bad day, but I always
appreciate their call." -Terry
enjoyed the candy, flowers, books,
hand cream, shower things, perfume.
My favorite gift though was a
burger from my favorite fast-food
my husband be there as much as
he could helped the most. When
I was in pain, having my daughter
and a friend rush to my side and
pat me and show love helped so
just be yourself, don't stay more than
fifteen minutes, and bring something that
will make the person smile. Your gift
of time and concern is what they will
apprecite the most.
a free download of 200 ways to reach out to
someone who is hurting from Beyond
Caseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically
Ill Friend when you sign up for hopenotes,
a monthly ezine. Author of this article, Lisa
Copen is also the founder of Rest
Ministries and National
Invisible Illness Awareness Week.