Becoming aware that someone you hold dear has a terminal illness is tough news to take. Fortunately there are plenty of people who have found ways to deal with such news and are able to pass on their words of wisdom to others. The following 7 tips on dealing with a loved one's terminal illness might help you figure out what works best for you. The tips listed below are a combination of ones I came across on the Internet and ones I've used in the past. Feel free to pass them on to others who could use them as well.
Don’t begin speaking in hushed tones if you didn’t before you found out your loved one had a terminal illness. Don’t talk about your loved one as if he/she isn’t in the same room. You won’t break the person in half by hugging them, he/she won’t become worse if you make too much noise, and it’s still okay to joke around the way you did before you found out about the illness. Don’t make this person more depressed by becoming quiet and reserved out of fear you will disturb him/her.
Being surrounding by bubbly personalities and happy voices is a lot more comforting than having everyone moping around and crying all the time. If you have to cry, do it out of earshot of your loved one.
You aren’t the only one grieving because of this terrible news. The rest of the family is going to miss this person just as much. You also have to think of how your loved one feels about receiving news that he/she has a terminal illness. Do your best to be supportive of everyone as much as possible.
Make sure all affairs are in order. If there is a will, be sure it is updated and written exactly the way your loved one wants it to read. Be prepared for any financial issues that will arise upon your loved one’s death. It is also necessary for you to try and prepare yourself for the absence of this individual. Although, no matter how hard you try to prepare yourself for that one, it isn’t always doable.
When it comes to a terminal illness, there’s no telling how long you have with your loved one. The doctors might provide an estimate of a month and it ends up being longer, or sometimes it’s a lot less. You just never know when time will be up and you won’t be allowed to say all the things you wanted to say. Share fond memories, tell each other everything you need to say, and laugh a lot.
Knowing what to expect does make things easier, in some ways. Certain illnesses progress in a specific manner. I think it’s better to know what’s coming than to sit and wait and be unpleasantly surprised by what begins to happen to your loved one.
Find out how everyone is feeling about the news, check to see how others are dealing with their grief, keep in touch with them, and discuss who will handle what.
Following these 7 tips on dealing with a loved one's terminal illness doesn't make it easier to accept the news when it's presented to you. If you've been in this situation before, how did you deal with the news?
Top Photo Credit: NONfinis
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