April 22, 2013
Being a good friend during life’s most difficult times
Letty Cottin Pogrebin, whose many books and articles I’ve appreciated from the time she co-founded Ms magazine with Gloria Steinem in 1972, has written a new book titled How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick. She wrote the book from both own awareness of what she needed from friends after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and from what she learned from the experience of other patients, friends, and families she interviewed. The link takes you to Judith Viorst’s warm, conversational overview of Pogrebin’s book written for the Ms Magazine Blog. It sums up many of the wise and sensitive tips and warnings that Pogrebin has put together to help us know what we should and shouldn’t do when someone we love is suffering from illness or loss. What do you say? What do you not say? What about visits? What gifts are— or are not— appropriate? “Pogrebin’s book will teach us all how to be there,” says Viorst, “and to be there as our best selves, either in active engagement or quiet sharing,” For related reading (besides the book itself!): See Amy Finnerty’s review written for the Wall Street Journal as reprinted April 8, 2013 on Pogrebin’s blog, and Rabbi John Rosove’s review for the Jewish Journal.