Home > Emotional Issues > Coping With A Loved One's Terminal Illness

Coping With A Loved One's Terminal Illness

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 20 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Coping Cancer Health Illness Death Grief

Coping with a loved one’s terminal illness may be one of the hardest challenges that you face in your life. Terminal illnesses are those from which there will be no recovery, so in effect when you face a terminal illness you face an illness that will lead to death and, for family and friends, the pain of loss. There is no right way to cope with a loved one’s terminal illness, only the way that is most suitable for you and your family. However, seeking guidance from a counsellor member of the clergy when a loved one is dying is quite common helps many people deal with their emotions.

Changing Relationships Due to Terminal Illness

When a loved on is diagnosed with a terminal illness (s)he may react in different ways. Some people become more of what they already are, so that patient or flexible people become even more so, while other people seem to become the exact opposite of what they were, so that patient people become impatient or angry people become calm. There is usually no way to tell how an individual will react to news of deteriorating health, but it is important for friends and family to remember that their loved ones are entitled to their emotions. It is also important to remember that these emotions may impact family relationships and friendships, so these changes should not come as a shock.

Dealing with Denial about a Terminal Illness

When faced with the fact that a loved one is dying, some family members and friends are unable to cope with this prognosis. Sometimes it may be the ill person who denies that (s)he is dying. This is because denial is actually a coping mechanism. Usually denial comes into play because the individual is too frightened or worried about the future to entertain thoughts of it. However it may be that these people just need some gentle questioning in order to be able to speak about their thoughts and fears. Sometimes all individuals in denial need is the knowledge that others are ready and willing to support them and they are able to discuss their emotions and move beyond denial.

Seeking Support from Family

Often those who are supporting a loved one with a terminal illness need support themselves and families can become united in grief. Children need their parents and parents need their children. Spouses need each other. Siblings come together to offer support. Unfortunately, some family members may be so involved in their own emotions that they may not be able to provide the support that others need. In these situations support groups, such as for families of cancer victims, can be invaluable. Private counselling or counselling with a member of the clergy may also be important for those who feel they need extra support through this tough time.

Coping with a loved one’s terminal illness is often a difficult task. Recognising the different emotions that may influence this period is important in order to cope in a healthy, productive manner.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi, My younger sister has been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer 3 weeks ago.She does not know yet.Her husband and her brother in law who are doctors, they informed me.They have not told me the time but I guess it will not be longer than 6 months. I am in a big shock, fear and deeply stressed. She is living in out of the country and I am going to see her on Thursday.I have planned to get sometimes off the work to be with her but I don't know if I can bear it. Please help me how I can cope with this disaster,
MHZ - 20-Mar-17 @ 8:11 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Big T
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    This is about my family my mom gave it to me she had now will saying that but the family now's what she wanted after she past away but…
    23 March 2017
  • Bet
    Re: Inheriting Property
    My father purchased a property and immediately transferred 80% to me via title deed. I then cared for him for several years until I could no…
    22 March 2017
  • Debbie
    Re: Bereavement Payment
    My husband died 25 /11/12 I new nothing of help for me and my child who was 11 years at the time she lost her dad I've been left with all…
    22 March 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: Inheriting Property
    Esexboy - Your Question:My brother lives with my mother and wants to sell the house (mortgage paid off by them and my Brother's ex partner).…
    22 March 2017
  • FacingBereavement
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    Sammi - Your Question:My partner lost his dad,taken it badly and as depression. I have tried so much to support him and…
    22 March 2017
  • PEG
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    hi i im getting a head stone for my nanna and grandads grave my mum and aunts ashes are also buried there can i have all…
    21 March 2017
  • MHZ
    Re: Coping With A Loved One's Terminal Illness
    Hi, My younger sister has been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer 3 weeks ago. She does not know yet. Her…
    20 March 2017
  • Confused
    Re: Inheriting Property
    My sister and I have cared for our 94 years old mum for more than 40 years. She now has advanced Alzheimer's and needs more help than ever.…
    20 March 2017
  • Sarah Coleman
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    My life was destroyed when my husband sent me packing, after 13 years we have been together. I was lost and helpless after trying so…
    20 March 2017
  • Esexboy
    Re: Inheriting Property
    My brother lives with my mother and wants to sell the house (mortgage paid off by them and my Brother's ex partner). My mother wants to leave…
    20 March 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the FacingBereavement website. Please read our Disclaimer.