End-of-life discussions are probably some of the most difficult ones you’ll ever have. The harsh reality of a loved one’s imminent passing is a bitter subject. However, these conversations are necessary and can offer comfort and healing now and in the days to come.
Of course, everyone is different and has various ways of coping with terminal illness and death. Your coping mechanisms and how you express grief are usually related to your culture, traditions, and belief system. While some cultures encourage open discussions and public grief, many others are reserved and grieve in private.
Conversations Might Feel Overwhelming
Hospice patients and their families are free to discuss end-of-life issues and grieve how they see fit. However, if your loved one is a hospice patient, your heart and mind are torn, and conversations about dying can be overwhelming. Therefore, in an attempt to protect your loved one’s feelings and your own, you may avoid the subject at all costs.
People with terminal illnesses experience many of the same emotions of grief that their family and friends do. Facing one’s mortality is the crux of the human condition. Their feelings may run the gambit of shock, anger, denial, and depression. These feelings aren’t static and can fluctuate from day to day or hour to hour.
At one point in this heartbreaking journey, hospice patients may be at peace with their impending departure from this world. However, during these windows of time, they may also confront feelings of regret or remorse. Your loved one sees you grieving, and they hurt for you and want to talk about it.
Listen to Conversations with Family
The most loving thing you can do for them is to listen. Share memorable moments from the past while you laugh and cry together. Maybe there’s a burden on their heart that they need to confess before they pass. Although it’s hurtful for you to hear, they often want to convey their final wishes.
These conversations may be some of the most profound and enlightening you’ve had together. If your loved one chooses, you can help them record some of their favorite memories and family traditions in a journal. Some patients and their families are comfortable making recordings or videos with the patient sharing their thoughts and memories.
Whatever method your loved one and your family choose to cope with end-of-life issues, let them be heard. In the days, months, and years after their passing, you’ll have no regrets about sentiments unsaid, or things left undone. These twilight conversations will be in your heart forever as a lasting memory to your departed loved one.