Encouraging Things To Say To Someone With A Sick Family Member

All of us know the importance of a loving family. It is an integral part of our lives and something that gives us a reason to live for.

No matter what circumstances arise, families are always bound to get together in the face of difficulties – be it separation, sickness, or even death. This bond made inside our caring hearts for each other is a sentiment shared by everyone in the world.

That is why when we see a friend being held down by a sick family member, we can feel the devastation that they are going through.

It is a good idea to send some words of encouragement towards such a friend. If their loved one is in a fight with sickness, your encouraging words can have the power of giving them inspiration to stay strong. Condolences and sympathies can be very crucial for their struggling hearts. Though, at times like these you may feel like you are at a loss for words.

What are some encouraging words for a friend with a sick family member? Words that offer them emotional support and let them know that they are not alone in this fight will help lift the mood of both your friend, and the victim of illness as well.

Try to imagine yourself in their shoes. What would you want to hear from your friend? What would you rather avoid listening to?

In this article, we have covered multiple suggestions for your answer so that you can send the best supporting message.

Ask how they are

“I found out about your [family member] being sick. Are you doing fine with everything?”

“I am here to listen to anything. Just ask.”

Gauge their reply and let it guide the conversation. Sometimes people wish to let out their frustrations and actually speak about the struggles that they are going through.

Listening to these struggles can be very helpful for them.

Remind them of their responsibility towards their family member

“Your [family member] is looking up to you. Remind them that it will be okay.”

“You have to stay strong for him! Don’t ever lose hope.”

You have to remember the sick family member in your messages as well. Remind your friend’s conscious that they have this responsibility of the care of their family member.

It will also show that you genuinely care about the family member and are making sure that your friend is mentally prepared to handle their care.

Keep following up

Just asking once is not enough.

You have to follow up on the things that you know about the sickness.

“Today the scan results were supposed to be returned, right? How did it go?”

“What did the doctor say today? Any updates?”

These kinds of messages will show that you did not just ask for their well being for customary purposes and that you genuinely wish to be involved in the matter.

It also shows that you were paying attention to what your friend has been telling you.

Ask how it is like to be in such a situation

“You must be going through a lot right now. What is it like to have a sick family member?”

It is not always a good idea to give advice.

They must be receiving a lot of those already. Instead, throw an open ended question at them in order to give them something to vent their feelings out at while also giving them a chance to reflect upon their situation with a sound mind.

Give them examples of help that you can provide to them

Often times when you offer to help someone dealing with a sick family member, they feel overloaded or out of things to ask for. It might not hit them at the moment what to ask for.

You can identify such cases when they say “I don’t know” or “nothing” when you ask what you can help with.

You can give them examples of the work you can take off of their shoulders.

“How about I buy groceries for you on the way back?”

“I can take care of your son while you’re at the hospital.”

“Want me to take care of the visitors?”

These kinds of suggestions will open up their minds as well and they will be able to see that your care is authentic.

Even if they say no to all your offers, remind them that you are always there if they need anything.

It will uplift their spirit significantly.

Adopt empathy

It can be instinctive to provide reassurance to your friend with words like “It will all be fine, no need to worry”. However, it might now be the best decision all the time. It may give a temporary uplifting, but it will not last long.

Empathy is what will really get you to connect with that person.

“It feels like you are going through a lot.”

“I can only imagine how you must be feeling right now.”

Be simple, yet supportive

There are times when you cannot do something out of the ordinary for your friend. In such cases, you should not forget that simple and supportive messages are still a powerful way to make sure that your friend has the strength that they need to survive the hardship.

Say that your help is available very clearly – “I am here, tell me what I can do to help you. Whatever you want.”

Even simple visits with some food can provide a great help – “Can I visit your [family member] at the hospital?”

“I can bring over some lunch if you want.”

It does not just have to be something to eat. Most of the time, people rush to the hospital unprepared. You can ask if they need something from their house and bring it over to them.

“Do you have your toothbrush/towels with you? I can pick them up from your house.”

Remain optimistic

Your friend already has all the negativity around them with the situation. Hence, you have to become the source for their optimistic mentality. Tell them that the time shall pass soon and everything will be alright.

“I will pray for your family to get better soon. Once all this is over, you will feel much better. I promise.”

Focusing on how things will be after the family member has made the recovery will put your friend in a pleasant mood and give them the strength that they need to keep fighting.

Remind them of the strength of their family member

It does not matter how sick someone is, you should never stop creating an image of the sick family member being a strong individual in the mind of your friend.

“There is no way that your [family member] is going to give up easily. They are fighting! So you should do the same. Don’t give up on them.”

A supportive message that rebuilds their faith in their family member will provide them hope for a better future.

Remind them of the challenges they have already conquered

“You remained strong when I got into that accident, remember? I know well that you can do the same this time as well.”

Reminding your friend of a recent challenge that they have come out of will give them a boost of confidence that they can handle any new situation as well. It will also reflect on the connection you two have with each other and give them the feeling that you are in this ordeal together as well.

Consider the rest of the family members as well

“How is everyone else dealing with this situation? I send my regards to all of them.”

Sickness affects the whole family of the victim. Hence, you should consider the well being of the whole family along with your friend. This will remind your friend about how close you are to their family and allow him to open up more to you.


This is perhaps the most important thing to do for a friend going through a tough time. First of all, ask some questions related to how they are feeling and what they are doing at the moment. Listen closely to their responses. They will have a clue for what you can do for your friend to help them.

  • “I’ve been sitting at the hospital for 10 hours.”

“Want my Netflix account to watch some shows?”

  • “I feel exhausted.”

“How about I cover up for you for a while. Go get some rest.”

  • “I haven’t eaten the whole day.”

“I’m on my way with food. Don’t worry.”

Resist the urge to give opinions

Your friend does not need suggestions or opinions at such a moment. They are most probably doing everything in their power already. Instead, follow a supportive approach. Above all, do not be persistent with questions. Be sympathetic and do not ask for more than what you are being told. You may have good intentions behind that, but your friend may feel drained listening to such things.

Final Note:

Sickness among a family member is a very sensitive topic.

Hence, your words should be chosen very carefully when talking to a friend who is in this ordeal.

True support can be given to them with encouraging words that keep in mind the delicacy of the issue. Keep thinking about what you would want to hear from your friend if the roles were reversed and what would rather annoy you.

The comfort in your words will stem from the love and compassion you feel towards your friend.

Let that guide you and help your form a supportive message with good intent.