When A Loved One Is Terminally Ill; What to do
It is painful to see a cherished family member go through pain. It is more devastating when you know you’re with them for a short time. It becomes distressing when the terminally sick member asks you if you know anything about local cremation services near you.
Appreciate the emotional distress
Talking about the terminal illness and the imminent end of your cherished one is critical. These are often difficult and distressing topics to discuss. However, holding the conversation about their demise makes it easy for everyone to make peace with the inevitable end.
Facing the terminal illness news
You’re likely to go numb on the news that a loved one is terminally ill. Often, you may want to push the news into your subconscious and assume that life will continue as usual. The news may come when you have prepared for a promising medical intervention. However, the respite from the encroaching illness may end with the doctor’s news.
Both of you need emotional support when the doctor announces the terrible news. You may need to involve other family members to help them come into terms with the situation. You may also need to make legal and financial plans about inheritance and interment.
What happens now?
Anticipatory grief can be distressing because you know a loved one is living their last days. It means you have to grapple with the loss before the imminent happens. The family members may encounter similar emotions as though the person is already dead. Some of the feelings you may experience include sorrow, loss, hopelessness, anger, denial and depression.
You may feel the need to get closer to your loved one. You can also share memories of the beautiful past you shared together. Make the most of the remaining time to spend time with them. You may feel guilt and anxiety from time to time. However, you can share your fears with friends and family members who have gone through similar situations. You can also join support groups to help you weather the emotional distress.
Talking about death
Death is devastating and chilling. Talking about death with a terminally ill person may seem like a sign of hopelessness toward a promising future. Imminent death also makes you broach a subject that most people prefer to remain untouched. Here are tips from professionals working with terminally ill persons:
Some terminally ill persons find solace in knowing they’ll be embraced, comforted and reassured upon their death.
Some other patients talk, talk and talk. They may talk about their achievements, accolades and milestones in life. This helps those around them to know that life is worth living.
Others are afraid and crave empathy-some patients feel at a loss for losing control, being dependent, and leaving plans and projects unfinished. However, talking and listening to them help to diminish anxiety.
The final bow
There’s no best way to talk about terminal illness and the approaching end of a loved one. However, when a cherished one suffers from a terminal illness, it helps to talk about it and reassure them about your unconditional love to the end.
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