A Helping Hand – Coping With A Terminal Illness

by Richard Earnshaw


In terms of different ways of being knocked for six, being told that you are going to die is probably at the top of the list. We all like to think that we will live to a ripe old age, and that we will live to see our grandchildren grow up and have their own families. Sadly though, some of us will not live to see our own children pass this milestone, let alone our grandchildren. A terminal illness is so hard to deal with, and the physical side of the sickness is only part of the whole process. You can no longer plan for next year’s holiday and find it hard enough to see past today. This article looks at ways that people have dealt with hearing those terrible words, and how they have managed to continue with their lives.

The Initial Feeling

Being told that you have a serious illness that will end your life prematurely is something that nobody can ever be ready to hear. You will feel empty, numb and probably be experiencing an instant breakdown mentally and emotionally. The doctor will understand how you feel, or at least how someone in your position will react. He has given this terrible news many times and the reactions are usually the same. You may have some disbelief to contend with, and you may ask the doctor to repeat this news, surely there is some mistake?

After It Has Sunk In

You will need a few minutes to digest the news and come to turns with what has been implied. The doctor will allow you this respite and will understand your state of mind. He will then probably explain the condition in more depth, and possibly offer you a few options. There may be treatment available that can prolong your life, but it will usually be a very unpleasant process with possible side effects. It is your choice whether or not to take this route.

Speaking To Your Loved Ones

Once you have digested the news and have accepted the outcome, you really need to speak to your nearest and dearest. Explain to them that you are going to die and how long you have left, according to the diagnosis. Be prepared to see a lot of grief and get ready with plenty of hugs and hankies for the tears. No matter how hard this stage may be, it is far worse if you decide to keep the news to yourself. In time, your family and friends will accept your fate and will be there for you.

Dealing With The Immediate Future

There are some things that you need to do while you are still of sound mind. You should review your will contents and be sure that you are happy with the details, instruct the executor of your will, and let them know that you have a terminal illness, if they do not already know this. You can even help with your funeral arrangements, but this will depend on your own individual condition. Try and do as many fun things with your family as possible, tell them that you love them every day. In a way, your condition allows you the luxury of saying goodbye and thanks to your family and friends. Try to see the positives in this scenario and you will be able to get through the day a lot easier. When it is time to say goodbye, remind them that you will be waiting for them, but they should not hurry along too quickly! Tell them that you will be looking over them and that you are so proud of your wonderful family.

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This post was generously provided by Richard Earnshaw.

Today's guest post is contributed by Richard Earnshaw. He provides cremation services in New Haven, CT. He is of the opinion that lending a helping hand when someone's end is near is a great gesture and such gestures restore the faith in humanity. He also blogs on various topics about life in general.

2 comments… add one
  • Knowing that you have a life-limiting condition inevitably leaves you living with uncertainty. You will probably have questions to which there are no definite answers, such as how and when your body is going to change, the effect this will have on your independence and your relationships, what will happen at work, and exactly how much time you have left.

  • The diagnosis of a terminal illness is always devastating news, both for patients and their loved ones. Suddenly, the world is turned upside-down and reliable information is sorely needed. We are dedicated to providing accurate, up-to-date information about various treatment and care options, as well as offering support for patients and those who are providing care for dying loved ones.

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