I have a chronic condition. It’s shitty. When I first got sick it was really bad, like lost 20 pounds in six months could barely get out of bed, bad. I was in an out of the hospital and I got to know the staff at my big city doctors office real well. I learned a lot about people in those first few months. That people want details but only to a point. That people want you to have an easy explanation for what’s happening to you. But mostly what I learned is that a lot of people are really shitty at making others feel better even when that’s really all they’re trying to do. People wanted to cure me, which was understandable, I really wanted to cure me.
The problem is when you’re dealing with doctors telling you, this condition will never stop, it will never go away, being told about some miracle cure from the depth of the inter-webs doesn’t help you cope. But on the flip side I’ve also watched friends deal with chronic and sometimes life threatening illnesses and there really is no right thing to say because there are no magic words to make someone better. There are however words that help people feel not alone and Emily McDowell has put many of them into her empathy cards for serious illnesses
Really what you want to do when some one you love is sick is let them know that they are still loved. That their situation sucks and they have every right to fucking hate it but that even in the worst of times there is still some twisted humor to be found. These cards manage to do just that.