How To Be A Friend To A Friend Who's Sick

Everyone knows someone who is sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope. We may freeze or panic in the face of another person's misery, botch gestures meant to ease, attempt to problem-solve when we have no idea what we're talking about, say the wrong thing, or talk too much. Some of us don't visit our sick friends at all. Others visit, overstay, and make things worse.

Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became intrigued by her friends' and family's diverse reactions to her and her diagnosis: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how they misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients at Memorial SLoan-Kettering Cancer Center as well as dozens of other veterans of serious illness, seeking to discover what they wished their friends knew about how to comfort, help, and even just talk to them without making them feel different or doomed.

Now Pogrebin had distilled their collective stories, insights, opinions, and ideas into this wide-ranging compendium of concrete guidance and usable wisdom. Her advice--infused with sensitivity, warmth, and (believe it or not) humor--is interwoven with candid stories from her own journey through the land of the sick and her sometimes imperfect interactions with her own sick friends.

BOOKS by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Most Recent
The son of Holocaust survivors who promises his mother on her deathbed that he will marry a Jew and raise Jewish children falls in love with a black activist.
Non-fiction
Pogrebin's advice about friendship and illness -- infused with sensitivity, warmth, and (believe it or not) humor--is interwoven with boldly candid stories from her own journey through the land of the sick and her sometimes imperfect interactions with friends of hers who are sick or suffering.
In this insightful and wonderfully personal book, a bestselling author writes with unflinching honesty and uncommon humor about the feelings that accompany the universal experience of growing older.
The struggle to integrate a feminist head with a Jewish heart can lead to a greater appreciation of both identities and the rewards of a passionate, well-examined life.
In this landmark book, Letty Cottin Pogrebin draws on nearly 150 interviews, personal experience, and current research to explore every aspect of friendship in all its pleasurable and problematic complexity.
A penetrating inquiry into the nature of the traditional family, the diverse forms of current families, how to create "democratic families" that effectively prepare children for life in the modern world.
Growing Up Free provides a new blueprint for raising children in today's world of challenge and change.
Getting Yours is a down-to-earth, informative, and compassionate guide to the working world, a world that can and will serve your needs as well as you have always served the needs of others--if you know how to make it happen.
How To Make It In A Man's World is the first and only book for the girl who wants everything--an exciting career, a husband, children, a fascinating social life, challenges, rewards, money--and wants them simultaneously.
Fiction
An ebullient, deeply engaging novel about the enduring ripple effect of family secrets and the triumph of sisterly love.
Consulting Editor
The classic, award-winning, bestselling collection of nonsexist stories, songs, and skits that has captivated and influenced three generations of children.
This follow-up volume to Free To Be, You and Me is a paean to the diverse ways people form families, support one another, and honor difference. Stories, songs, poems, and pictures that help ease the path for children and grown-ups to discuss sensitive issues.
Editor
A child-cheering parent-pleasing book, Stories for Free Children reaffirms the joyful spirit of girls and boys who are free to be themselves and be true to themselves.

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