A terminal illness affecting a family member or someone you love changes life in general, not only when it comes to providing care and support but also the fear of losing that person. Most people don’t know how to react and how to deal with the situation. If you have a family member or someone you love diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is important to prepare yourself, and don’t just dwell on the matter. Inspire your loved one to live life to the fullest by creating new and precious memories together and with family and friends such as having a picnic on the beach, building a sandcastle, watching the sunset together, watching movies, gardening, or writing poems.
While it is true that a terminal illness may have painful and burdensome signs and symptoms, you can still help to relieve these manifestations by doing a thorough research on your end when it comes to managing such illness. Use the internet as a resource tool since it is accessible anytime and anywhere you go using different internet-capable mobile devices, and just open a browser like Google or Yahoo then enter the name of the illness (e.g. peritoneal mesothelioma, congenital heart defect, or cervical cancer. For a person with a terminal illness, the mere presence of someone to talk to counts a lot, so be a listener. While there is no right or wrong in terms of dying and death, do ever force quick acceptance or talk about scientific facts to your loved one as it will only cover real thoughts and emotions. Many patients experience denial because the reality is too overwhelming and too frightening, and this is a coping mechanism. People who have terminal illness fear pain, financial hardship, losing autonomy and bodily functions, becoming a burden to the family, and death.
It is important to provide your loved one spiritual and psychological support by inviting him to talk about his fears, and seek professional help as needed such as a spiritual counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Don’t hesitate talking about memories and provide affirmation that the life of your loved one matters, and that he will be remembered. You might as well record your conversations as a way of remembering and honoring your loved one. There will come a point that if your loved one feels the time is coming, he will open up the topic of his wishes before he dies, so don;t forget to ask what he wants because there are people who want to die with their loved ones nearby, while there are those who prefer dying alone or privately.