If you or a loved one has been dealing with a terrifying or painful illness and is now on the upswing–or cured!–it’s a time for celebration. Celebrating recovery of any type lets a person know he or she is loved and cared for and helps kickstart the return to a normal, healthy life.
Maybe you have a cousin who has just been declared cancer-free. If he or she is a party animal, throw a party complete with a champagne toast. Take turns raising a toast and giving reasons you love the person and are glad he or she is better. You can even make it funny! That cousin has been dealing with a serious and terrifying time, and he or she (and the surrounding friends and family) could more than use a return to humor and lightness. Of course, that cousin may likely be too exhausted, in which case you should just opt for a quiet family night. If the person lives too far away for you to make a visit, you can always order a bottle to be sent to that New Jersey address! Accompany it with a note, or even do a virtual toast together.
Sometimes nothing beats a thoughtful gift. Has your loved one expressed an interest for something? Maybe it’s time for that new camera or pair of shoes. If he or she is coming home from the hospital, it could be exciting to come home to a package at the front door with a great present. If there are family or friends who have been spending nights by the sick person’s side, celebrate them as well. You might find a way to get into their home and do some cleaning or cooking for them. Sometimes an action is valued as much or more than an item. If you’re the one who’s just had a positive prognosis, splurge a little. Get a new outfit, a new appliance, or, if you’re feeling well enough, a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.
If the sickness has kept you or your loved one from engaging in a favorite activity, why not celebrate by doing that thing? If your brother had a major injury and couldn’t go golfing, have a family outing. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the crew is awful: the simple act of watching him tee off will be fulfilling. And, of course everyone else can always find some humor in the struggle! Perhaps your favorite hobby is painting, but you’ve been laid low with a bad case of pneumonia. See if any friends want to set up in a studio for a paint date–or just take yourself to the art store, buy supplies, and go to your favorite spot. Revel in the happiness of feeling well and doing what you love.
It’s important to return the love. If you recently recovered from an arm injury with the help of a great physical therapist, show up at the clinic with a tray of cookies and a thank-you card. If your aunt on the East Coast has been battling cancer and it’s gone into remission, visit her and make sure to go to the Maryland cancer treatment center that took such good care of her. Bring goodies for the nurses and perhaps flowers for some of the other patients. You might even make toy donations to the center for kids to play with. If there’s been a particularly kind friend who’s helped out, send him or her a gift basket and a note. This is also a kind thing to do if the outcome was sad but had a wonderful care team. If your grandfather recently went into hospice and passed away, it’s a kind gesture to bring snacks for the staff there as well as the other families who are spending final precious hours with their loved ones.