Life is funny because it’s always full of happiness and tragedy at the same time.  You joyfully attend a wedding to celebrate the beginning of a couple’s new life together.  The next week you visit a friend in the hospital who is battling cancer.  It’s a never-ending cycle of happiness and sorrow.

My Great Dane/Lab Mix (Stella) recently had surgery to remove a large tumor from her side.  As I walked her to the vet, I had tears streaming down my face because “I knew” it was going to be cancer.  They had been testing it since January and never found any malignant cells.  But still, I knew.  I sobbed like a baby all the way home.  People looked at me like I was crazy and to be honest, I felt like they just might be right.

We brought her home that same night and set up a mini hospital ward in our living room so she wouldn’t have to take stairs.  We put a mattress on the floor and slept there for a number of nights until she was ready to move freely again.  She was a champ—she never whined and always made sure to give me a “look” that told me she was doing just fine.

Three days into her recovery, a strong sense of peace washed over me because I knew Stella was going to be okay.  The next day, I got a call from our vet to give us the news.  Stella’s tumor was cancer, but it wasn’t a type of cancer that would spread to her organs or her lymph nodes.  She is safe…for now.  At 12 years old, we are thankful she is so healthy and happy.

This was GREAT news and I wanted to spread the happiness.  But, at the same time, we received devastating news from many of our loved ones:  my friend’s mom had a stroke, my sister-in-law’s father is gravely ill, another friend’s husband is being sent back to Iraq (for his 2nd tour), and our dear friend was diagnosed with lymphoma.  This was all within a two week period!

How do you deal with these difficult situations?  Do you pick up the phone and call or do you send a card?  Do you visit them or are you afraid they’ll want their privacy?  And is it okay to share good news with them?

Every person and every situation is different.  Ultimately, it comes down to one very important thing:  SHOW THEM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM.  Illness doesn’t only affect the person with the diagnosis—it affects everyone around them.  Call.  Send a text message or a card.  Visit them if they feel up to having company.  Whatever you do, don’t pull away because YOU find the situation too difficult to deal with.  Many people make this mistake and end up regretting it later.  Be there for them the best you can.

And please don’t hesitate to share good news and happy stories.  When faced with tragedy, it’s always nice to hear stories of joy, love and hope.

If you’ve recently been through a difficult time, how did your loved ones help you through it?
Share Your Love,