Contrary to what most people think, the knowledge of a loved one’s impending passing does little to ease the pain. Anyone who’s experienced this will tell you how incredibly challenging this time in a person’s life can be. Whether you’re certain or uncertain of what’s going to happen, the fear will always be there. We all experience grief in different ways and there’s never really a “right way” to handle the situation.
This article will serve as a guide to family members who are already feeling the loss of their loved one. Don’t let your grief prevent you from focusing on the present. Remember that you have to stay strong and support each other now more than ever. Mar Vista Hospice, a provider of hospice care in Burbank, California, makes it easier for you and your family to navigate the end-of-life phase of a loved one’s journey with these tips.
Terminal illness affects people of all ages. One of its most common signs is fatigue. Expect your loved one to prefer sleeping or staying in bed more than anything else. While this may continue over time, it’s not a reason for you to limit your interactions with them. Continue talking to your loved one, even when it seems you’re not getting a response. In most cases, they actually do hear you and are listening.
- Breathing issues
It’s not unusual for a loved one going through terminal illness to take breaths less frequently. There is typically a general shift in their breathing patterns, almost as if they’re constantly trying to catch their breath. As the end draws near, fluid sometimes gathers in a person’s lungs creating an unsettling, rattling sounds that can be painful hear. Despite this noise, however, it doesn’t mean your loved one is experiencing pain. When the situation has reached this point, you may want to step out of the room and give your loved one that moment to accept and be at peace with what’s about to come next.
- Loss of hope
People don’t like hearing they don’t have long to live. Once it’s confirmed that a loved one in the family has terminal illness, emotions will be all over the place. Everyone will be feeling so many things and some won’t even know what to make of their emotions. As for those who’ve been diagnosed, they can either take it better or worse than their relatives. But with the knowledge that they may not live long enough to see their grandchildren grow up or have the opportunity to tick the rest of the items off their bucket list, they start to lose hope. When feelings of hopelessness overcome your loved ones, make it a point to stay and talk to them – your presence alone can give them hope, and the fight they need to carry on another day.