Honor a Friend

Dear Dr. Niemeyer,

I have a friend who is dying and I want to do something to honor her before she passes away. I was always taught to honor someone before they die. Do you have any ideas of what I could do for her? She is an elderly lady. Thank you!


Dear Mary,

Yours is a noble question, one that suggests your characteristic thoughtfulness and loyalty.  Perhaps the most straightforward response would be that you could honor your friend with your presence, which more than any other action gives evidence of your respect and love.  Conveying to her and others who care for her such as her family what she has meant to you extends this simple but personal gift, as might sharing an anecdote about a treasured memory with others, perhaps in a written letter or memorial blog.  Other more tangible gestures would be to join with others in taking some action or advancing some cause that would have meaning for her, in a sense continuing her legacy with this act.  But most basically, speak to her when you can, and speak of her when you cannot, sharing the stories of her life and how it has enriched your own.  None of us could ask for more.

Dr. Neimeyer

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