If you have a loved one who was diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is time to prepare yourself for their loss and the toll on your emotions this can take. You might feel grief even before they have passed away. The process of death will become something you are waiting for, and you won’t know exactly when it will occur. Dying from a terminal illness takes time and causes the body to gradually shut down. In the meantime, the only thing to do is to prepare to say goodbye.
Understanding Your Loved One’s Wishes
Try to find out what the individuals wishes are once they are gone. You might ask them what they want for their funeral, and see if there are already any arrangements in place. You might not want to talk about the funeral just yet, but you can show you respect their desires, and it will ensure the funeral is more personal. Still, talking about this subject should be done in a delicate way. Try to keep things simple for everyone.
You can also talk about whether or not they have a will in place and where they keep it. If not, you might want to do some end-of-life planning with them. You can review a guide on end of life planning to help you understand what else might need to be done. If your loved one does not have a will and is well enough, this might be a good time to have them make one. Still, it might not be practical at this time. If that is the case, there are protocols in place when someone passes away without a will. Just make sure you respect whatever choice they make and know that there might be some differences in your opinions.
Spending More Time Together
This is the time to be with your loved one. As their health goes downhill, being with them is one of the more important things. If they have the energy, talk with them, but if they don’t, you can just sit with them. That way, they will know they are not alone. It’s okay to show your emotions, so don’t worry about trying to be strong. You can tell them you are sad, scared, or confused. Even though it might be uncomfortable, let them know they are loved and will be missed. This is the time to say what you feel you need to, so you don’t regret it later.
Don’t Forget to Care for Yourself
When you are grieving, you still need to care for your body. Make sure you are sleeping long enough, and ensure you are still eating. It is also important to do things that help you relax. Care for yourself emotionally as well. It might be an overwhelming time, especially since you might feel okay one day but enveloped by grief another. Look for someone who can support you through this time. Remember, self-care is just as important as offering care to your loved one.
Updated: July 22, 2021