Coming to terms with the fact that your loved one is nearing the end of their life can be earth-shattering. To save you the time and trouble of trying to figure out how to prepare yourself and your loved ones for what is to come, we’ve put together a few tips to hopefully make this time a little bit easier on you.
Be Open and Honest with Everyone
One of the most important things you can do for you loved one when they are nearing the end of their life is to be open and honest with those around them. Hiding the truth about their prognosis doesn’t serve anyone.
By keeping an open line of communication about what is happening—especially those living further away, no one will feel that they were kept in the dark about something so important. Additionally, this will offer everyone the opportunity to say their goodbyes, make peace, and spend any time that is left comforting the person they love.
This time can be especially difficult for children, more so if this is the first significant loss they’ve experienced. The loss of someone they are close to, like a parent or grandparent can be confusing and scary for a young child, and although it may seem as if it’s for the best, sugarcoating the truth will likely just cause more confusion later on.
Spend Time Together
This one may seem obvious, but it can be very easy to lose track of what is most important while juggling arrangements, travel, medical visits, and all the other day to day minutia that simply can’t wait. Be sure to take the extra time to sit with them and listen. Listen to their stories, their laugh, and remember the look on their face when they tell you they love you. This is a difficult time for them too, where they may be feeling scared or angry, allowing them to express those feelings might be the best thing you can do for them at this time.
This may also be the time to listen to their final wishes, would they like to donate their body to science, a traditional burial, or a cremation? Are they an organ donor? Where would they like their ashes to be spread or buried? These are all important decisions they may not have previously considered.
One on one time with your loved one is invaluable, but gathering all their favorite people together to laugh, cry, and share memories. Bring out the old photo albums and home movies for everyone to enjoy and reminisce one more time.
Pre-plan as much as possible, get all of the nitty-gritty details out of the way, so you can spend that precious time together without worrying about anything. In the event that a personal injury lawyer or any other legal entity was involved in their healthcare, you can help to make sure everything is squared away. It may seem like a small gesture, but handling a person’s bills for them can take off an insurmountable amount of stress at such an unsure time in their life.
Take Care of Yourself
During this difficult time, your self-care can certainly fall by the wayside. So, stay hydrated, get some rest, eat a hearty meal, and don’t be afraid to take a break when needed. This may be a difficult time for those you love and care about, but you don’t have to sacrifice your well-being for the comfort of others. Take the time you need for yourself so you can make the most of the time you have left with your loved one.