When a patient is declared to have a terminal illness, he/she is already on the verge of dying. This disease or condition has no cure; that is why it is sometimes called a life-limiting illness. If one of your friends or family members is experiencing a terminal disease, you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario. There is a reason why there are so many articles and poems about death, but only a few are written about how you should prepare for a person’s death because the topic is something most people don’t want to deal with or accept.
Preparing for a person’s death makes people anxious, uncomfortable, sad, and somehow disrespectful. That is why people wait until the time comes then do the preparations. There are things that you can do to prepare yourself when that time comes. This can help you and also help the person who is on the brink of death. Like memorials or cremations, these preparations are rather practical than emotional, which means that you need to do this for your sake and your dying loved one.
1. Spend time with your loved one
The most important thing to do is to be there in his/her remaining days. You have to talk to them, interact with them, make them laugh, but if they are not able to interact anymore, your presence is enough. Say the things that you want to say, and don’t be afraid to get emotional. Cry and let them feel that their death will surely be a considerable loss and let them feel the love. Say you love them so much and say that you will miss them so that when the time comes, you won’t have to regret the last moments you have with them.
2. Contact anyone who might wish to see them
Let everyone know that your family or friend is already dying, and let them have their final moments together. This will allow everyone to say their goodbyes while the person is still alive and say their last words. You also have to ask your loved one the person he/she wants to see or not if the person is still able to move or speak. If not, then you will be the one who will decide.
3. Ask for their final wishes
This would be satisfying since you can grant your loved one’s final wish. If your dying friend or family wants to smoke a cigarette for one last time or wants to smell the fragrance of a rose, then let them. The joy you will receive from seeing your dying loved one’s smile can never be replaced and will always remain in your heart. You can also ask if he/she has a will in place and where it is kept. If he/she is still in a condition to move, you can use that time to create a choice. But this needs proper consent, and you have to respect the decisions that everybody makes.
Since everyone, including your ill loved one, already accepted the worst-case scenario, it is okay to ask if he/she made a plan for his/her funeral. It may seem dreadful to bring up that kind of topic, but if the person does have a plan, you can make the funeral more personal and memorable. You have to bring up this topic subtly and be as calm and respectful as possible. Maybe your dying loved one wants to be cremated and spread on a peaceful mountain or wants a traditional burial. You have to ask even though it seems odd or painful to do so.
5. Take care of yourself
The last thing that you should prepare is how to take care of yourself. You have to accept it slowly and move on. Accept the fact that the situation will never change. Don’t expect a miracle to happen. It would only make you hurt more. Instead, be happy that the person will be free from his/her suffering and will finally be at peace. Eat, sleep, rest, and move on.