Helpful things to say to someone who’s sick

Another good list, that gets beyond the superficial:

  1. “You look so good, but how are you really feeling?”
  2. “I’m going to the grocery store, can I pick anything up for you?”
  3. “It must be hard to be sick and in pain all the time,” or “Not being able to work must be so frustrating,” or “I imagine it’s a daily grind to have to pace yourself so carefully.”
  4. “How are you holding up? Do we need to stop visiting so you can rest?”
  5. “I miss going out to lunch together,” or “I miss going to the movies with you,” or “I miss going to the mall together.”
  6. “Don’t feel bad if you have to cancel our plans at the last minute. I’ll understand.”
  7. “Would you like to hear about this crazy adventure I had yesterday?”
  8. “I hope you’re as well as possible.”

Helpful things to say to someone who’s sick.

9 thoughts on “Helpful things to say to someone who’s sick

  1. Andrew,

    Your timing if this article could not be any better,

    I am about to send a “get well card” to my oncologist who is away on sick leave for an acute appendicis.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


    • There are a lot of good thoughts out there on what to say/what not to say. The main thing is to ‘be there’ and express your care. I am sure your oncologist will appreciate the care.


  2. I wish more people would ask thoughtful questions like this. I suffer from fibromyalgia and am in pain all day, every day. I look healthy on the outside. Fibromyalgia is an invisible disease. I hate the “how are you?” question. There is no good way to answer that if you’re in chronic pain. Either you lie and say “ok” or you tell the truth and sound like you’re whining. My mom is good about asking thoughtful questions like these. Thanks for you’re post!!

  3. Hi Andrew, I’m so glad that I’ve have crossed paths with you blogging. Today I reblogged this article and many of my followers read and it and did the same. It really hits home when we read something that strikes right at our core.
    I want to nominate you for a Sunshine Award, as with this post you made many hearts smile a little. To find out more about the award go to the link :

    Health & Happiness


  4. Reblogged this on Oh What a Pain in the… and commented:
    I think this post is great. A lot of times I feel like my friends and family really don’t know what to say to me. I don’t blame them, because most of the time there is not much anyone can say that helps, or more importantly, there are times that what people say and what I hear are VERY different. Please see my comments…

    • Thanks for sharing. I always think the key point is being there in some form. I always like to look at the intent; if it is to show one cares, I don’t worry about much of the awkwardness.

  5. Thank you for this! My 37 year old daughter is terminally ill. I think we live in a cold, uncaring world where people are only concerned about getting on with their own lives. Maybe it is because they do not know what to say?

    • So sorry to hear about your daughter. It is hard to know what to say but as I think I have continually stressed, better to say something, no matter how awkward, than be absent.

      Take care,


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