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Updated on December 3, 2010


How To Support A Friend Whose Parent Is Dying?

Life is full of challenges and every human being requires a friend to confide in. Being a social being, man seeks emotional support in facing the challenges. Finding a good friend means one has to work hard to be a good friend themselves. Offering emotional and mental support, encouraging and not degrading your friend under any circumstances. Being able to share just about every thought,good, bad and ugly makes a friendship special. The most important thing one can offer in a friendship is presence. Your presence in the face of disaster or worse scenario is appreciated much more than if you just attended the friend's birthday parties and showed up at all good events together. Being there for each other in times of need is important for any friendship to grow and last forever.

Every person on this planet desires to have a very special friend-one that they can count on-no matter what. Yes, it is possible to find friends who do not belong to the same economic status or educational background. It is heartening to note that they will go to any lengths to be there for each other during times of emotional upheavals, bereavement,etc, as also weddings and birthdays. Financial support may be offered in times of crisis.

How To Support A Friend Whose Parent Is Dying?

  • I came across this question and thought of the times when I have been in a similar situation, and felt I could offer some hot tips if you want to call them that. Friends whose parent or spouse or child or sibling is dying, and what you can do to support in that situation is almost always the same. Depending on the proximity of the friend in need.
  • If you live in the same city as your friend whose parent is dying, take the quickest route to your friend and the ailing parent.
  • Pick up some fresh flowers or choicest fruits on the way there.
  • If your friend has just heard the news and is far away from the parent in question, call immediately and offer to pick up your friend to see the ailing parent.
  • If the friend needs to talk before or after seeing the parent, lend your ears and your shoulder if he/she breaks down and comfort them by gently patting the back or shoulder.
  • Offer words of comfort and encourage them to sit down by the parent and hold hands, while you stand over your friend's shoulder resting your hand on it.
  • If a time frame has been given by the doctors, it is normal for your friend to be anxious, but you do not add to it. Instead take your friend's mind off the parent by making sure he/she gets adequate rest and timely food.
  • Offer to be with the patient while your friend can go home and sleep for awhile.
  • If your friend needs monetary support at this time, and you are in a position to help, do not hesitate for your friend will remember you for this and some day you may require his/her help too.
  • Pray with your friend and his/her dying parent. Sing a short chorus if you can. Often, if the parent has been a faithful Christian, a favorite hymn or chorus is sung and Psalm 23 is repeated. If you are too overcome, you can stick to the Lord's Prayer. Believe me, this works wonders if the dying relative is in the home or the ICU of a hospital. They respond positively and are more at peace-Genuine PEACE! Even if the patient is in a coma!
  • If your friend has children that are small and need to be taken care of or picked up from school while they are with the dying parent, make sure that those children are your concern until necessary.
  • In short, you offer unconditional support for your friend in this time of need. Your presence is of utmost importance.
  • And several times, the friend may need proper advise as he/she is going through emotional upheavals. It is your duty to see that your friend stays in good shape and is ready to let go of the dying parent.
  • It is your duty to use comforting words/ quote relevant verses out of the Bible to increase faith in the Living God, for both friend and parent and any other relative who might be around.
  • If your friend happens to be in a different city and you cannot be there for him/her, call often to speak to your friend. He/she will be glad to hear your voice and will want to brief you on the dying parent.
  • Be a good listener and then offer your support in terms of finances or /and speak words of comfort, pray with them on the phone often, share Biblical verses that will strengthen faith, and counsel your friend that they should surrender the dying parent to God Almighty.
  • Last but not least, never ever blame your friend for not being a good son/daughter at his time, rather encourage them to pray for the ailing parent and praise them for taking such good care of the parent in times of need.

Every friend is different and it is upto you to choose how you want to offer your support depending on your circumstances, and how close you are to this particular friend. Parents dying of cancer can be much more in pain and the trauma of therapy can take its toll on your friend. Visit often and offer support of any kind, and be ready to drop what you are doing to be with your friend if he/she needs assistance in caring for the dying parent.

God Bless You And Your Friend! May God grant Peace to the departing soul!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      If I have a friend that has a dying parent, i will probably do what you said. It is the perfect way to ease at somehow their pain. We can't totally remove their sorrow but at least we try to comfort our friend.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      7 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      A friend is a friend through good times as well as the bad... thank you for this beautiful HUB.

    • ChilliWilly profile image


      8 years ago from Kaunas, Lithuania

      Very beautiful hub, thanks for sharing.

    • pennyofheaven profile image


      8 years ago from New Zealand

      Excellent Advice. Thanks

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      What a beautiful hub, and filled with sound advice. Thanks for sharing. It is not as easy, it seems, to make friends as adults, as it was as children. And, some people are better skilled at this then others.

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hiya Purple Perl, very useful advice not only for friends who have dying parents, but in general. It's great to have friends in times of need, even just for company, someone to listen to, someone to hold your hand.. it doesn't cost a penny.. just being there for someone. Thanks for the remind. Thumbs up for this hub.

      Have a nice day!


    • SUSIE405 profile image


      8 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      I have always thought that you can tell who your real friends are by who is there when you need them.


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