There’s a disconnect between how we treat sick people and how they want to be treated, according to Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of the new book How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick.
We stay silent. We say stupid things. We go from being sensitive, sensible, kind adults to rambling niceties or making downright rude remarks.
Illness, understandably, makes us nervous.
Fortunately, Pogrebin’s book helps us navigate the muddied waters of illness and mortality. It’s packed with practical tips and valuable insights.
Pogrebin was inspired to write the book after observing the varied reactions from her own friends to her breast cancer diagnosis. Some friends misunderstood her needs and acted awkwardly. Others were supportive and compassionate.
In the book, she shares these personal experiences, along with powerful accounts of people offering support to others. She also shares the words of almost 80 of her fellow patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She interviewed these individuals to find out how they really wanted to be treated.