Supporting a Loved One with Terminal Illness – Part 2

Has your loved one been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness? As a provider of hospice palliative care in Humble, Texas, we acknowledge that the diagnosis can be emotionally crushing to you and your whole family. In seasons like this, you might find yourself at a loss on how to move forward. There could be questions swirling in your mind about things that you ought or ought not to do.

Indeed, the journey of going through a terminal illness, especially with the struggle of showing support to a loved one, can be long and winding. But from our experiences of providing hospice care in Texas, we would like to share the following frequently asked questions with their answers to hopefully shed light on your darkened moment.

  • What can I expect about the relationship dynamics with my loved one?
    The general outlook is that you’re the only person who can answer this question. While we understand that the situation can be very emotional for you, we do encourage you to see the situation as a way to improve your relationship. On one hand, the personal needs and characteristics of your loved one haven’t changed, but your perspective in taking care of them can be steered for the better.
  • What can I do to show my loved one that I’m still here for them?
    The most practical and immediate show of support that you can do is to be there for them physically. Your presence is going to be a great comfort to your loved one even if you don’t say anything at all. When they feel that they’re not alone in their terminal condition, you’ve already given the best help you can ever give for them.
  • What can I do if my loved one goes through a denial process?
    Our team recognizes this denial period as a way for your loved one to cope with the condition. What you can do is to invite them to share with you exactly what they fear about or what they think about their situation. When they’re not confident of sharing it with the family, suggest other alternatives like talking to grief counselors or spiritual counselors from Devinity Hospice.
  • What can I expect with the emotional journey of my loved one?
    Every person’s emotional journey towards their permanent rest is unique to them. It’s very important for family members to remember this so that we can respect the way our loved ones show emotions regarding their situation. There is no right or wrong way of expressing how they want to face this permanent goodbye. But be present and be a listener through it all.
  • What can be some things we can talk about?
    In moments when they are not in pain, you can try to encourage your loved one to share about their own lives and the memories they have. This can help you cherish them as a person and encourage them to focus on the beautiful remembrance of life.