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A Meaningful Approach to the Last Days of Your Loved One's Life

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Jan 27, 2017

A Meaningful Approach to the Last Days of Your Loved One's Life

As your loved one approaches his or her final days, you have to come to terms with the reality that time is short. During those last, precious moments, you want to make the most of every second, but it's a delicate balancing act. Relatives and friends will likely come to call, you probably have things you want to say, and there's never enough time to do or say all the things you meant to before now. It's also possible that you don't know what to say or how to act. Your loved one is the most important aspect of this, however. Each passing is unique, but for the most part, trying one or more of these approaches will bring comfort to the dying person.

Listen – to Everything

It's impossible to imagine how a person feels when s/he knows the end is near – unless you listen when s/he tries to talk about it. In the end, your loved one may want to talk about many subjects, from youthful reminisces to milestones, memories, and regrets. Listen. Listen to every story, fear, and worry. If your loved one needs to talk about how scary this experience is, then put aside your grief and fear so you can hear what s/he truly wants to say. It's hard because you don't want someone you love to feel frightened, but this is about your loved one. Let her or him speak.

Show Your Love However You Can

Little things often mean the most. Sit with this special person, hold her or his hand, bring in fresh flowers, or read a favorite book. Listening is an act of love. Simply being there shows your support. Trading stories and memories is a touching way to spend a few of those last, precious hours. If you can fulfill a wish or bring a smile, then give it your best shot.

Respect Your Loved One's Autonomy

Your loved one still has authority over her or his life, body, and mind. Respect her or his wishes as much as you possibly can. This is also why it pays to listen carefully. Try not to say no, especially if you can fulfill a request.

Don't Fight the Inevitable

In the end, false hope isn't helpful. It's painful. The person you love is, tragically, dying. It's happening, and you cannot stop it. That hurts deeply, but fighting against it doesn't do your loved one any good. It's harmful to you, as well. You have to accept this death as a fact. It's inevitable. You probably feel like accepting it means you're giving up, but that's not what it means and your loved one doesn't think that.

Being there is one of the best and most meaningful things you can do during the final weeks, days, and hours of someone you love. You will cherish those moments after s/he passes.