Well, the weekend went better than I thought it would. It even went better than I dared hope! My sick friend didn't die, and my widowed friend was moved out of her house in an incredibly efficient manner.
It was really an impressive amount of work but it was well organized. We arrived at the house to see a big dumpster, a storage pod, and a moving truck. Everything in the house was NOT packed but was labeled according to its ultimate destination (new apartment, storage, trash, donation) so the helpers could work independently. There was also a stack of index cards with various tasks on it (gather chemicals in laundry room and put on Haz Mat pile; remove pictures from walls; etc.) so we could tackle those jobs as well.
My friend held up in what must have been an unthinkably hard day. In some ways I'm sure it was a relief, to be out of the house, into an apartment, and DONE with all that stuff in all one day. In other ways it's a very definite end to a part of her life that was very happy and all too short.