I've been very fortunate to be surrounded by great friends and family. However sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we're trying to be a good friend to someone who has an illness, is going through a divorce/breakup, job loss, family issues, etc. This can difficult for everyone. So here's my two quick tips.
1.) Include Them. Just because your friend is going through something, doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to join the crew for brunch. Feeling normal can be very helpful to someone whose "normal life" has been disrupted. Also be understanding if they can't make it.
2.)Ask Them About Regular Stuff. This is a big one for me. "How are you?" can take on a whole new meaning to someone going through something. Imagine this: "So's how's the divorce?" Nope. Just. No...Of course as a caring friend, you want to know about these things, and you can ask. This is still your friend. Likely a friend that could use some normal talk. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm eager to talk my friend about the new Mexican restaurant I tried or the embarrassing moment I had last week. We can talk about dialysis updates later.
Everyone's situation is different, and everyone needs different things. These are just some general tips to help you be more supportive. If you have any questions, you should check in with my friends.....they're experts! ;)