When A Family Member Becomes Terminal – How To Cope

When one of our closest loved ones becomes afflicted with a terrible terminal illness such as cancer, it can be profoundly difficult to cope. Not only do you have your own emotions to deal with, but you must present a continually backbone of support for the poor soul who is having to encounter this. With the right presence and love, you can truly make this experience less painful and scary for the one who has to experience it. However, that doesn’t mean you should give absolutely everything of yourself to the task, as self-maintenance is very important too. Keeping yourself able to cope with this demand will keep you more mentally and emotionally capable to help, even given the gravity of the situation.


While of course this list will not be pleasant, it could be extremely useful in helping you cope during a time where you likely feel you have nowhere or no one to turn to.



Accept Grief

You will likely feel some preliminary feelings of grief. This is normal, natural, and healthy to a degree. Knowing that this is something to prepare for will give you time to emotionally regulate yourself, but only if you let yourself feel those emotions. Many people fall into difficulty regarding putting their nose in the sand, turning to alcohol or other momentary pleasures to escape the general feeling of unhappiness and worry. The best thing you can ever do in these circumstances is to accept the emotional trauma and be willing to digest it. This lessens it by definition.


This also allows you to be a solid caregiver or ear of support for your family member. As you provide comfort to the person afflicted, you will have your genuine emotion behind it, and not fragmented feelings you haven’t addressed. This tip is far from easy to get to grips with, but it does make emotional and physiological sense. Our circuits that allow us to deal with threats (such as the proverbial snake outside our garden,) also allows us to interface with emotions in either a strong and accepting or weak and hiding manner. Facing the fear and pain head-on will help you feel more able to understand it, and pay the whole process the dignity it deserves. Keeping strong must always be balanced with the healthy outpouring of emotion in the right places, but combined they can make you a support figure to be reckoned with during this difficult time.


Find Specialists

Simply because your family member is experiencing a difficult disease does not mean that their case is hopeless. With the right specialists, progress can and could be made. This obviously depends on the illness, your relatives general health and vital status among many other factors. For example, mesothelioma specialists can always help improve the quality of life of someone experiencing this issue, regardless of how difficult the disease is to solve. The first step is finding reputable specialists.


We’d recommend searching online for practice reviews, or finding the dedicated website of a practitioner and reading testimonials. Sometimes a health practitioner specialist can join you in acting as the perfect intermediary of love, care and practical support.


Build A Support Network

There’s no reason why you should face this alone, nor should the person with the affliction. Bringing together family members and friends that care should be easy. Having more people available to help you with the standard administrative tasks and emotional support duties can truly take a load from your shoulders. You may still be the closest person to the family member, but taking care of this whole situation means giving everyone the capacity to become better in their functioning regarding this event.


It also allows for the person afflicted to feel loved and supported from all angles, which in reality they are. Simply having people who care around you can be enough to shoulder the burden of a tragic circumstance such as this.


Quality Of Life

Of course, a family member experiencing a terminal illness is cause for sad emotion and rumination. If this weren’t a component, there would be something severely emotionally disjointed about you and everyone participating. However, that doesn’t mean no time for levity or positive moments should be experienced. In fact, they should be maximized.


There’s a chance the person experiencing the difficulty will have some form of physical difficulty or disability, meaning that you might be limited in your potential options. Still, if appropriate, scheduling small travel adventures and watching films together can make a world of difference for the both of you. Simply sitting and listening to music while you both talk about fond memories you share and things you believe can help you both express your most positive feelings for one another.


Depending on their dietary requirements, cooking a purposeful meal (an act of love,) can also help you both bond even further. There’s no reason why the sadness of an illness should tear people apart. It should bring people together in the final estimation. Of course, it doesn’t particularly matter what you do to spend time together as long as you both do it in the first place. This one on one contact time is valuable in itself, even if neither of you feel up to consuming entertainment or engaging in an activity together.



Make Arrangements

If it’s looking as if the inevitable is drawing nearer and is unavoidable, then making the necessary arrangements in preparation can help you facilitate the whole affair in a much cleaner way. It can feel like an inappropriate thing to do when you are still meeting with the friend, but in order to grant their final wishes effectively difficult conversations must be had. Sometimes, depending on the personality of the person in question, they might find it comforting to know you have their back even when they pass away. This shows your dedication to being their friend to the end, and is a final act of love you can give.


If this situation is happening to you, we truly send our loving sympathies to you. By following the advice listed here, the whole affair should become at least a fragment more manageable.

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