Small, Helpful Gestures With Big Impact
A Health Issue“When I was having a difficult few months trying to get pregnant, a friend sent me gift certificates to my favorite ice cream shop. Once, she even sent me the exact change to buy a pint―she called the store to find out how much it cost. Turns out, that ice cream was just what the doctor ordered.”
―Briar Sauro, 32, Brooklyn
- Instead of toting flowers or balloons to a hospital-bound friend, offer a pair of comfy pj’s or cozy socks.
- Bring a blanket to someone who’s in the hospital. (Patients often feel chilled.) When she is discharged, present her with a new blanket to use at home―it will feel like a fresh start.
A Death in the Family“After my father passed away, a good family friend gave my mother, my sister, and me a bottle of his cologne. My father was impeccably dressed, but he wore this cologne called Clubman, which sold for about $4 at the drugstore. The cologne and the accompanying note were so touching. I believe it read, ‘Your father was a wonderful man. He was my club man.’”
―Amanda Armstrong, 25, New York City
- Mow the lawn or shovel snow for a friend who’s grieving. It will be one less thing for her to think about.
- When you’re greeting a suffering friend at a funeral or a wake, press into her hand a pack of tissues, lip balm, and mints. The tissues will dry her tears, and the lip balm and mints will help her handle all those kisses.
A Breakup“After I had a horrible breakup, a few girlfriends rented some movies that didn’t have happy endings and ambushed me with popcorn, candy, and hugs. Seeing films where the girl doesn’t get the guy was a welcome distraction. Who wants to watch a couple ride off into the sunset when your heart has just been broken? Not me.”
―Brooke Oakley, 26, Atlanta
- Offer to be the default “plus one” for a recently divorced friend. Surviving events that are full of couples can be easier when she’s on someone’s arm.
- Spend the night at your friend’s place―or let her stay at yours.