Goodbyes are always difficult. Period. Saying goodbye to a person you love under normal circumstances is already rough. After all, no one wants to be separated from a person they hold dear. However, saying goodbye to someone who is dying from a terminal illness or a person who is suddenly in palliative care because of an accident or stroke makes goodbyes even more heartbreaking. How do you say goodbye when you know you will be planning a funeral soon? When you know that this goodbye will be final and forever, what words can you say? If you need help, consider the following suggestions to help you and your beloved find peace while there’s still time left.
Do Not Wait As Time is Precious
Remember, don’t wait before it’s too late to get the words out. Saying what’s in your heart while you still have time is better than saying the words when you’re facing the casket surrounded by funeral flowers. That’s not a pretty picture to imagine, but it is a reality if you have a terminally sick loved one. When you have to grapple with such a heartbreaking scenario, remember to focus on expressing love and reassurance. It is important to say what you need to avoid feelings of immense regret later. Words like “I love you,” “I am sorry,” or “Thank you for everything” can help you jump-start a meaningful conversation that can result in healing emotional baggage. This is the best gift you can give a dying person because it means he or she can gracefully pass away without resentments.
Speak Honest, But Gentle Words About What’s Happening
Someone who is dying has a sense of awareness about their own body. Now is not the time to be dishonest. In fact, you can offer more comfort and support when you can honestly discuss what’s going on with the terminally ill patient. You give them a chance to express their feelings, apprehensions, and fears. Acknowledge the truth for it will set you all free. It means they can stop holding back their real thoughts. Maybe they are also pretending to be strong in front of you. If your loved one doesn’t want to discuss the topic in detail, it is also okay to gloss over it. The key is to take cues from your loved one. Don’t make empty promises like he or she will get better if you know that is no longer possible. It will just only hurt both of you more.
Provide Tons of Reassurance
Now is not the time to argue with your loved one. Instead of fighting over the situation, offer reassurance that you will be there. You will never cease loving, supporting, and honoring his or her presence in your life. If the sick person wants to discuss plans after, especially if you have children, then provide a listening ear. Offer reassurance that you will continue with future plans and do everything in your power to address any concerns. Most terminally ill people worry about what will happen to their loved ones after death, so give them the confidence that you will handle it and everything will be okay. Even if you have doubts, don’t verbalize them because the point here is to offer comfort during your loved one’s final moments.
Keep Speaking Until the Very End
It is common for dying individuals to lose their consciousness in their final hours. Don’t cease speaking until the very end. Many say that hearing is one of the final senses to go. Even if your loved one is unresponsive, he or she can still hear your stories, songs, and comforting words. Remind your loved ones about your happy memories together. You can even speak about the funny moments you’ve had with each other. These last moments don’t have to be just about pain and sadness. Instead, make it your mission to ensure that your loved one’s final moments are filled with nothing but sounds of love. With these affirmations as their send-off, resting in peace becomes easier for the one dying. Speak sincerely from your heart and always let your genuine love be your guide.