Death is an inevitable part of life, but that fact doesn’t make it any easier when you learn of the passing of a loved one. Unexpected deaths can hit hard, but if your loved one has been suffering from a terminal illness, watching them deteriorate can be painful and traumatic in a different way. While there is nothing you can do to change the circumstances, you can try to navigate your way through this difficult time by using some of the following tips to help you cope.
It can be difficult to consider your needs and emotions when you’re trying to support someone with a terminal illness, but it’s important to remember to look after yourself as well. Make sure you are still eating a balanced diet to the best of your ability and getting enough rest. If you are struggling to sleep because you’re upset or worried about them or something else, try having a hot shower before you get into bed, or do something that relaxes you as well as sticking to a routine. You might even want to take some time off of work if you can so that you’re not overwhelmed.
Talking therapies aren’t for everyone, but they can be very beneficial if you’re going through a difficult time. Speaking to an impartial person about your thoughts and feelings in a safe space can help you get things off your chest that have been weighing you down. Your counselor will also share with you some coping mechanisms that might help you when you start to feel overwhelmed. You could even consider joining support groups for people who also are coping with loved ones who have terminal illnesses, as being around people who are going through the same thing as you might bring you some comfort and support.
Make the Most of the Time You Have Left
Making the most of the time you have left with your friend, relative, partner, etc., while they are still with you is vital. Going on holidays together, or even something as simple as having friends and family over for dinner, can make a big difference. Try to do as much as you can with them while they are still able, so you can make even more cherished memories is essential, and these moments might even serve as a pleasant distraction for you all, too.
Another thing you should look into is hospice care, as this might be the best thing to do when your loved one starts to find independent living more difficult as the illness progresses. It isn’t the right option for everyone, but if you are going to struggle to care for them at home, it might be the best choice. This hospice in San Diego County, CA, is a good example of the type of care you should be looking for to make sure that your loved one is comfortable and supported in the final stages of their illness.
It’s never easy to lose the people that you love, but it is something that everyone will have to face at some point in life. If you have recently discovered someone you care for has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, consider the points above and see if they can help you cope a little bit better with the circumstances.