Is someone you love terminally ill? Get support and advice here.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be even harder when we know that it’s coming. It can come as a great shock, especially if the person is young and healthy. Just recently, we all read the sad story of Tom Parker (band member of The Wanted) who passed away aged only 33 following a brave battle against brain cancer. Losing a loved one to a terminal illness is something we all hope we never have to face but the reality is that it could affect our family at any time. If you are coping with losing someone you love to a terminal illness, we hope this advice helps you.
Facing Terminal Illness
It can feel very scary and final to hear that a person is going to die. You may try to put a brave face on things for your loved one’s sake, but it’s important to get the support YOU need, too. We need to look after ourselves to be able to be strong for others. Talk to family and friends about your pain, and don’t be afraid to reach out when everything feels hopeless.
It can help to join a support group to talk to other people who are going through similar issues. You may be able to find a local group or join a support group online. If your loved one is dying of cancer, you may find comfort in joining the Macmillan Cancer Support Online Community.
You can also talk to your GP to ask about what support is available.
Supporting Someone Who Is Dying
There’s no right or wrong way to support someone who is dying – every situation is unique. Death is something we try our hardest to ignore, to not think about, so when it finally does look us square in the face, we panic. It’s something we’re just not equipped to deal with. Please know that it’s OK to feel lost and confused – and it’s normal to not know what to do next. Talk to someone you love about how you’re feeling and get support.
When we know a loved one’s time is coming to an end, we want them to know just how much we love them. Talk to your loved one – don’t wait. Be honest and open. Your tender care also shows the strength of your emotions – even the simplest stroke of a hand or wetting of their brow demonstrates your love.
Grief & You
From the moment we hear of our loved one having a terminal illness or disease, we start to grieve. We grieve for the pain and suffering felt by our loved one. We grieve for the life they once lived. We grieve for the unfairness of it all. We grieve for ourselves. Then, when they sadly pass away, we grieve their loss.
Knowing someone is going to die makes you feel hopeless and desperately sad. You may even feel angry at the world or just completely numb. These are all normal ways to feel. Grief is as unique and individual as you are, so don’t worry if you don’t have the exact same experience as someone else. Read more about coping with grief here.
If you need more support around death and grief, click here.