None of us like to think about dying. The prospect of our last days brings with it a flood of questions. Everyone needs help and support at this time. Ultimately, in accepting the reality of the situation, you, along with your family and friends, can calmly contemplate, discover or affirm your thoughts.
It’s important to acknowledge that you or your loved one is dying. Despite a feeling of numbness or shock, this is the first step to living the rest of your life.
Accept your own response to the terminal diagnosis. Whether you are fearful, angry, grieving, in denial or hopeful about the future, accepting your feelings will help you discover how to live.
Ask questions that will allow you to determine the kind of care you or your loved one wish to receive and to make plans appropriate for you and your family.
- What are you hoping for in your final weeks of life?
- Do you want to spend time with family and friends?
- How do you want to say goodbye?
- Is there a way you would like to be remembered?
- Do you have a will?
- Are your finances in order?
- What signifies “quality of life” to you?
Reach out for support. Dealing with a terminal illness should not be done alone. It is all right to reach out for support and practical assistance. Hospice can be an indispensable resource, as hospice staff are trained to help both the patient and caregiver(s). Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself and withdraw from people who care about you.