Tragedy can strike like lightning, with effects lasting twice as long.
Whether somebody near you dies, gets hurt or the relationship shifts, the toughest part of it all can be knowing how to deal with it when you’re in shock above all else. I would know, myself — my best friend recent got into an auto accident, almost losing his life, and I lost five points on my overall average this marking period in school from stress and worry. There’s a lot that can be done to help, to grieve, as well as to move on, every step being equally important to doing what the affected would likely want you to do — keep moving forward.
There’s a lot you can do to cheer people up in the hospital who direly need the cheering up. No matter what happens though, particularly for the first visit, keep in mind that due to the heavy amount of drugs likely to be in the person’s system for keeping pain and symptoms at bay, it’s important to remember that what he or she says might not be representative of exactly how he or she feel. That person is not going to be the exact same person you knew before, until the drugs wear off.
Getting back to cheering up someone in the hospital, it gets pretty boring and lonely in hospital rooms, so beyond the realistic amount of company you can provide, it can be good to give some sort of sentimental gift to hang onto to help the patient connect to the world outside of the hospital. It’s a bit cliche, but I made a big card using poster board to give my friend and had everyone who knew him in school sign it, and he definitely enjoyed receiving it. It can also get pretty boring in there, so if you plan to give gifts it’s not a bad idea to give things that can entertain — movies, books and video games work well here depending on what the person likes and if he or she can use any of those things given his or her condition.