How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick [NOOK Book]

Overview


Everyone knows someone who’s sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope.

Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends’ and family’s diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began ...
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How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick

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Overview


Everyone knows someone who’s sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope.

Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends’ and family’s diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients and dozens of other veterans of serious illness, seeking to discover what sick people wished their friends knew about how best to comfort, help, and even simply talk to them.

Now Pogrebin has distilled their collective stories and opinions into this wide-ranging compendium of pragmatic guidance and usable wisdom. Her advice is always infused with sensitivity, warmth, and humor. It is embedded in candid stories from her own and others’ journeys, and their sometimes imperfect interactions with well-meaning friends. How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick is an invaluable guidebook for anyone hoping to rise to the challenges of this most important and demanding passage of friendship.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pogrebin, a veteran feminist, author, and cofounder (with Gloria Steinem) of Ms. magazine, uses her experience with breast cancer—she was diagnosed in September 2009 at age 70—and nearly 80 interviews with friends and patients to craft this bluntly practical and gently humorous guide to the dos and don’ts of caring for the ill. The list of tips is formidably long, and includes plenty of helpful advice: Don’t ask “how” someone is feeling, ask “what” they’re feeling; never start a sentence with “Oh my God!”; and be sure to say things like, “Tell me how I can help,” and “I’m bringing dinner”—or ice cream, laughter, or pot (to which she gives “the grand prize for Most Restorative Gift”). There are also accounts of patients themselves, like writer Nora Ephron, who surprisingly chose to keep her fatal illness a secret from friends. But it’s the bravery and wisdom Pogrebin (Three Daughters) brought to her own battle that lifts this guide from a mere list of sickroom rules to invaluable lessons for sickness and health. Her cancer, she writes, “taught me the blessings of silence” and that there are times “when the kindest thing you can do” for the ill “is to confer upon them the honor of the ordinary.” Agent: David Kuhn, Kuhn Projects. (Apr. 9)
From the Publisher
Eve Ensler, playwright and activist
"How to be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick gives us excellent tools and moving experiences to love and nurture the sick and dying. It urges and enables us to move towards those in need rather than fleeing in terror or despair. It is a handbook of kindness and care and will help patients and healers, which is ultimately all of us."

Harold Varmus, Nobel Laureate in Medicine "After examining a potentially difficult and nearly universal experience—-dealing with a friend's illness — from many points of view, Letty Pogrebin has turned her findings into wise and witty lessons about a prized but neglected human trait: empathy. In advising us on what to do and say, she also shows why she’s the kind of friend we all would want to have if we were sick.”

Bruce Feiler, best-selling author of  THE COUNCIL OF DADS and THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES
“As she has throughout her writing career, Letty Pogrebin has once again hit on a topic that everyone whispers and wonders about but is loath to discuss out loud.  HOW TO BE A FRIEND TO A FRIEND WHO’S SICK is taboo-busting, groundbreaking, and had me fist-pumping with glee.  Take this brave, much-needed book along to your next family gathering or visit with a friend.  I guarantee that the conversations it will evoke will be life-changing.”

Kirkus Reviews
"A cancer survivor channels her ordeal into reflections on the nature of empathy and friendships…. The author’s sharp advice illuminates many of the more common gray areas governing what to say to an ailing friend, appropriate visitation frequencies and durations, and proper gifting. She also provides tips for good behavior when a friend’s parent or child is gravely ill…. A useful refresher course on navigating the complicated territory of compassionate companionship.”

Publishers Weekly
“Pogrebin, a veteran feminist, author, and cofounder (with Gloria Steinem) of Ms. magazine, uses her experience with breast cancer…and nearly 80 interviews with friends and patients to craft this bluntly practical and gently humorous guide to the dos and don’ts of caring for the ill….It’s the bravery and wisdom Pogrebin brought to her own battle that lifts this guide from a mere list of sickroom rule to the invaluable lessons for sickness and health.”

Wall Street Journal
“[A] kind of communication chasm, the one between the ill and those who care about them, is addressed with sympathy and humor in Letty Cottin Pogrebin's How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick, a guide to what might be called "compassion etiquette.”

USA Today
“[How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick] offers sensible, specific advice about being a true friend to a pal facing hard times, be it disease, permanent disability, Alzheimer's, a child's suicide, or the death of a partner, parent or child.”

Rabbi David Wolpe, Jewish Journal
“Marvelous…This is a wise book. It is a book we need.”

Chicago Tribune
“In How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick, Pogrebin offers healthy doses of advice interspersed with a memoir of her own cancer sojourn. She promises a primer on empathy, and she delivers. She pens a call to action, and the stories — and truths — gathered in these pages will leave the reader fully equipped to become that life-affirming wonder, a Most Compassionate Friend.”
Women Magazine
“How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick benefits from Pogrebin's extensive interviews with patients and their

Kirkus Reviews
A cancer survivor channels her ordeal into reflections on the nature of empathy and friendships. Ms. magazine founding editor Pogrebin (Three Daughters, 2002, etc.) offers sound counsel to those comforting ailing friends. In 2009, a routine mammogram revealed a suspicious mass that not only changed the author's relationship to her body, but also the interactions with her friends, some of whom were hesitant to visit. Pogrebin's text serves her well as both an informative guide and an autobiographical chronicle. Evenly distributed throughout are personal interludes from her battle with breast cancer combined with helpful sections guiding those who are conflicted "when your role in the relationship is no longer easy or obvious." For many, she writes, worry for a friend's sudden or prolonged illness can be an intimidating, touchy subject, and communicating genuine concern could understandably be met with either graciousness or an irritable "Thank you for caring. Now leave me alone." The author's sharp advice illuminates many of the more common gray areas governing what to say to an ailing friend, appropriate visitation frequencies and durations, and proper gifting. She also provides tips for good behavior when a friend's parent or child is gravely ill. Much of this valuable "illness etiquette" comes from personal experience (Pogrebin's mother died of cancer) and from survival stories told to her by fellow patients. Illness, she writes, will often prove a friendship's mettle, and those who get it right will temper the unavoidable shame and embarrassment that often accompany serious health issues. A useful refresher course on navigating the complicated territory of compassionate companionship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610392846
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 252,353
  • File size: 377 KB

Meet the Author

Letty Cottin Pogrebin is an award-winning journalist, widely published opinion writer, acclaimed public speaker, admired political activist, and author of several nonfiction bestsellers, including Growing Up Free, Getting Over Getting Older, and Deborah, Golda, and Me. Her last book was a novel, Three Daughters. She lives in New York.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful book. I picked up my copy today. I feel good knowing s

    Beautiful book. I picked up my copy today. I feel good knowing someone had the courage to write a book like this. It will help a lot of people. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Anya

    Hi I'm Anya and I'd really like to help. I pposted at the erin hunter book but i didnt give a name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Kendi

    I will be on tomorrow

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Ashley

    Ok. But just know this: the devil is trying to convince you that you are worthless. But you are not. God DOES love you and he Did make you beautiful in many ways. You may not realize it, but you are beautiful in ways you or no one else may know. I promise. Please dont cut yourself anymore. I want to lend you a sholder when you need to cry. Im here for you.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    Ali

    Wow.....

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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