As for the best way to approach them the way you always have. But be ready to listen to them, people need to talk especially women, we work through things by talking them out. So just listen, don’t try to fix it, you can’t just listen and let them know you care. If you can do a small kindness or two once in a while, babysitting , running to the store ect… by all means do so.
Just be there.
You sound like a very caring person, and I’m sure you will give your friend and her family what they need.
I’ve been through this with my own father, and with the mother of a close friend… there’s no "right thing’ to do. Everyone deals with grief differently.
Be available (even at 2 am) be supportive…and educate yourself. You friend and her family are going to start speaking in very medical sounding terms very quickly (a side effect from over exposure to doctors). if you’re clueless in this area, do a little reading… It’s a small gesture, but one that I found incredibly thoughtful when a friend to the time to do it so that I could talk to him without explaining myself every third word.
My best friend’s mom was diagnosed with cancer about 6 years ago. She is still VERY much around, driving my best friend insane.
Don’t say anything. Don’t ask “What can I do for you?” Find out the things she has to do (mundane stuff, like get the car inspected, go food shopping, etc.) and do that for her. Make it very clear that you WANT to listen to her talk. Tell her that she doesn’t have to be strong around you. That are there to support HER. As the eldest child, she is going to get the brunt of the stress, I know from going through this with my friend. She’ll need to lean on someone, what with so many people leaning on her.
I have seen a lot of people close to me get diagnosed with cancer. The ones who honestly believe they will win often do. The ones who believe they are beaten are.
Man Sky, you struck a major nerve here. I just went through this, and let me tell you something, stay strong. I started dating my girlfriend about two years ago right after my girlfriend’s mom was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer. She was fine in the beginning, but after the Chemo wasn’t working things started to deteriorate. I’m not trying to scare you, but I’m just warning you.
Long story short, her mom passed away four days before this past Christmas, and her funeral was on Christmas Eve. For what it’s worth, and in my opinion, you’re coming up on the hardest part of the journey. Just be supportive of your friend. Try not to get her hopes up, but don’t act like all is lost. Warning. Her attitude might change greatly, and she may take her anger out on you because you’re there, but try not to take it personally. Remember that while you’re going through something difficult as well, it’s exponentially worse for her. Be strong. It’s obviously OK to show emotions, but try and keep it to yourself.
Your relationship may change with her, but that’s OK because if her mom gets better you’ll go right back to where you were, but if her mom doesn’t get better rough seas are ahead, but the healing process will eventually begin. It just takes time.
I’m really sorry man. I’ll be thinking about you. Try and keep your wits about because she’s going to need you. Good luck.