My Friends Brother Has Covid – How Can I Help?
Maryam doesn’t know what to say to help her friend whose brother is in hospital with Coronavirus. She’s reached out to Grab the Meic for advice. Here’s our advice.
Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline.
This article is also available in Welsh – I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma.
We have lots of articles with information and advice about Covid-19 – check them out here.
My friends’ big brother is in hospital with Coronavirus and I don’t know what to say to her. I can’t help but think that he’s going to die and it seems wrong to say, “Hope he gets well soon”. I know her family is really upset because they can’t be with him in hospital. What can I do or say to help my friend?
Maryam (*name changed to protect their identity)
This must be really difficult for you. It’s understandable that you don’t know what to say. Your feelings may be so mixed up that it is hard to find the right words, or any words at all. You might worry about saying the wrong thing or upsetting your friend more.
Most of the time though, a friend will find comfort in you being there and won’t be thinking about the fact that you can’t find the right words. There are many people that might not keep in touch in this situation, because they feel uncomfortable with the emotions involved. The fact that you want to help will be appreciated. Even if you feel you’re not doing anything, just being there sends a message that you care.
Let them talk
You might want to ask your friend if she wants to talk about how she’s feeling. This will give her the option to talk, but she can also choose not to if she doesn’t feel like it. Listen to what she tells you and accept that one of you might cry or feel angry. These are natural reactions in these circumstances. Be honest with her that you’re feeling uncomfortable; she might be feeling uncomfortable too. It’s ok to tell her that you don’t know what to say.
You can show her how you’re feeling by saying something like “I wish this wasn’t happening to you” or “this must be very difficult for you to share, I’ll be here to support you if you need me”. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything, just being there for her is enough – even if this can only be remotely at the moment.
Treat her as normal, even from a distance
Try to treat your friend as normally as you can. Be there by text, phone or video call, if she wants to share how she’s feeling, but talk about other things too. Your friend might welcome some distraction. You could suggest listening to some music with you online on Spotify or watching a film together on YouTube or Netflix. Suggest playing an online game like Minecraft (who have released a free educational version available to download until 30 June 2020 with your Hwb sign in details). You can use your creativity and learn how to code together, or just relax and have a group chat
Meic is here to help too if you or your friend want to talk to us. Our advisers can help you come to terms with how you’re feeling and get you the help that you need.
The Meic Team
If you need to talk to someone about anything that’s bothering you, then call Meic to talk to a friendly advisor.
Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.