I recently received an excellent question:

What are some of the ways we can be supportive when a friend’s child has a serious medical condition?

I have a friend whose three children are all terminal from a genetic disease she and her husband did not know they carry. The children do not know and hold hope of feeling better one day.

Thank you,

Dear Barbara,
Thank you for your question, and for your gentle concern for this family. From personal experience, I think a wonderful way to support this family is to help create memories with the children and record them. I don’t know how old the children are, or how sick they are. But I’m thinking finger painting, make your own pizza night, baking cupcakes, blowing bubbles, visits to the park, balloons, “half-birthday” parties. Ask the parents, what would make these kids smile? Do it, then take pictures of the family doing these things together! Take video. Capture the sweet moments between mom, dad and these children.

In the last months of Sydney’s life, her nurses would take my camera and take tons of pictures of her and I together. I don’t know that I would have thought to do it. By the grace of God, I lived each day in a delicate balance. I didn’t dwell on the fact that my time was limited, but I did not take the days for granted, either. I pray for the parents of these children that they are able to live the same way.

So offer to help plan an event and be the “family photographer” for it. Then capture the smiles.

If you have a concern regarding caring for a terminally ill child, Sylvie Stephens welcomes your questions.  Post your thoughts under comments or go to the Contact page to “Ask Sylvie.”

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