How to tell a loved one they are dying, and if you should.
Losing a loved one is the hardest thing in the entire world. When someone you love is sick, it can make you feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Sometimes, the emotional connection is so strong, you can actually feel their pain. If you are the caretaker for your loved one, you may be faced with the decision of letting that person know they are dying. It’s one of the most sensitive and emotionally challenging conversations you can ever have, but it is an important one, and here’s why…
Everyone has the right to know .
Sometimes, you have to put yourself into that person’s shoes. Wouldn’t you want to know? When you are truthful with that person and let them know their condition, it gives them time to think and act. When you know your time is limited here in this world, your thoughts begin to change. That person might want to reach out to an old friend or family member, take care of some last-minute business, or share things with you they once were afraid to or apprehensive about. They may even want to repair things with someone they disagreed with in the past. It doesn’t take away time from them; it gives them more.
You don’t have to tell them how long they have left unless they ask.
Letting a loved one know they are passing doesn’t mean you have to give them every detail or you need to lay everything out on the line. Normally, that person will give you cues to show they want to know the truth. They may ask you about their general health and what the doctors are saying, or they might come right out and ask, “Am I dying?” The best thing to do is to offer the information slowly. Let them know things like, “The doctors have done everything they could, but it’s ok. We are going to make the best of it.” You can ask them if they want to know more about the results of their illness, and they will answer truthfully. Be sure to give them a lot of reassurance. Most likely, they already have an idea that things are not good, and many times, they will look to your reaction for comfort.
Be honest but gentle.
It all goes back to that saying, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” Act normal and positive. Your attitude should say, “This is now in Heaven’s hands and you are going to enjoy the time Heaven has given you.” Dying people have high hopes and strong faith. Most people do not want to tell a loved one they are passing out of fear it will upset them and or make them lose the will to live. What I have found is that people who are passing have strong faith for themselves. Many times, when given the news, they don’t give up but fight harder for more days, hours and seconds. They value the time they spend with their families and want to make the most out of it.
No need to repeat it. Just reassure them.
After breaking the news to the person you love, there is no need to repeat it unless they ask. Sometimes, they will bring it up, but many times, they won’t. You don’t need to remind them of their illness or about passing; just go back to normal life conversations. Allow the last days, months or years to be filled with making new memories that will last. Sometimes, the best days of a person’s life are the last days because they are with those they love around the clock. They see friends and family they haven’t seen in years, and they feel loved and safe with their friends and family being with them.
Ask questions, and set aside special time for that person.
It’s important you help the person who is passing with any unfinished business or goals. Asking questions like, “Is there anything special you would like?” or “Is there anyone special you would like to see ?” is important. You will also notice the person passing will want to spend as much time with you as possible. It’s important that you clear your schedule and give them as much time as possible with you. As hard as it is, you may also have to put your personal feeling aside if your loved one asks to see someone you don’t particularly get along with. Although it might be upsetting for you, they might get the inner peace they need from being able to see or connect with that person.
Let that person enjoy their final journey.
Nobody goes to Heaven kicking and screaming. It can seem scary at first, but what I have been told by those in sprit is that nobody enters Heaven alone. As they are passing, they are greeted by old friends and family members who have also passed on. Death is the final journey and a beautiful part of life; allow it to be an experience for that person. You can help them by holding their hand, playing soft music or lying next to them so they feel your presence. Sometimes, they might ask to be alone when making their transition, or they might wait for you to leave before passing, and that’s okay too. Even if they cannot speak, remember they can hear you. Let them know you love them and that you are ok. It sometimes can help to remind them that a loved one is waiting for them. For example, telling your Dad, “Mom is waiting for you,” can help to remind him of the beauty in death. You can also ask them to send you a specific sign that you choose to let you know they are ok and at peace.
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