When you know someone who is suffering from a serious illness, the thought will sadden you. How much more if you are involved to that person? It will surely shatter you but that person doesn’t want that. You have to remain calm and accept the things you cannot change so that he/she can leave in peace. How can you help yourself or others when faced with a serious illness?
Perhaps it will help you if you know that when a person is seriously ill, chances are he/she is not suffering from a severe pain. With the increasing supply of pain relieving drugs and sedation, very few elderly patients suffer greatly with pain. That thought will at least comfort you. If that person will soon depart, you have to make the most out of his/her time. You can do the following things:
Sit with them. This means spending more time with him/her. You don’t know when he/she will depart so when you get the chance, grab it. If you want, you can sit with him/her and recollect memories of the past. It will make him/her happy. The time you spend with him/her will be appreciated. He/she will truly feel loved and important.
Do things together. It doesn’t have to be an outdoor or a strenuous activity. A simple book reading or knitting together can make a big difference.
Accept it. It is easier to deal with death and dying if you accept it. If the patient accepted it, there is no reason for you not to accept it. Just think that you will meet again soon. Yes it is painful but we know that somehow life must go on.
Say the words. He/she will depart peacefully if you continue to affirm that you love him/her no matter what.