Whether it’s cancer or some other diagnosis when a loved one becomes terminally ill your entire life immediately changes. Suddenly you find yourself riding a roller coaster of emotions. One minute you are angry, the next sad, anxious, overwhelmed, forgetful, stressed and so on. All of those emotions are normal, watching a loved one approach end of life can be a terrifying experience.
It can be extremely difficult learning a loved one has a serious or terminal illness. You might feel overwhelmed by what this diagnosis means for the future of your entire family. Dealing with a terminal loved one is difficult; it’s even more difficult to prepare yourself for the long, emotional road that lies ahead for your loved one, you and your entire family.
The instant you learn that someone you love dearly is terminally ill it can feel as if the earth has stopped rotating. Perhaps you ignored the diagnosis because it was too overwhelming. Maybe you cried, yelled or jumped into rescue mode. Regardless of how you reacted, life goes on, sometimes too quickly, as soon as that diagnosis is made.
Although this can be of the most difficult things you encounter, there are things you can do to help yourself cope while you help your loved one.
Below are some suggestions on how to prepare.