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How to Say Goodbye to Someone Who is Dying and Offer Support

How to Say Goodbye to Someone Who is Dying and Offer Support

Try to imagine for a second what it would be like to have your doctor tell you that you are sick and that it is terminal. Not an easy thing to think about that is for sure. Besides the medical battle you will have to endure, the unspoken emotional and mental battle is often the worst part.

People will try to say things to you in hopes that you will be comforted in the process, but more often than not, the words fall short of what you are trying to say.

The fact of the matter is that no one knows what to say when an individual is ultimately going to die. As you can see, there are many reasons to be prepared for what to say in this situation.


01Silence may be golden when you say goodbye to someone who is dying


Truthfully, terminally ill patients would rather hear nothing at all than an attempt to make them feel better. More often than not, terminally ill patients will not discuss their condition with everyone; they may choose to tell only a select few.

They know they will not feeling better, and they are trying to do the best they can with the time they have left. If you are one of the people who is included in this saddening situation, here are some things to consider for what to say to the person you must say goodbye too. Words could make all the different.


02Wait for the conversation to be brought up


If someone you know has just been diagnosed terminally ill, give them the time to bring it up with you. If they are not reaching out to tell you, relay a message through a closer friend or family member that you are here if they want someone to sit with, or talk things through.

Even so, remember to not be pushy because you might actually push them away. In the end, people who are dying just want to spend time with the people they love, so if you are in that category, make sure you strive for quality time.


03Speak from the heart


If you do have the opportunity to talk with a terminally ill individual, remember to share the depth of your feelings for them. Reminisce about what they have meant to you, or what the two of you have done together. If you feel that there may be a situation that should be resolved at this time, make sure it comes from a good place – one of forgiveness or sincere apology.

Being truthful in this situation gives honesty and authenticity to every conversation. Memories and stories are a powerful tool when figuring out how to spend the time remaining with someone who is dying. This is a wonderful way to help your loved one remember the things they accomplished in their life, proving their lasting significance to the world.


04Planning something fun


Depending on the time remaining, planning to achieve goals or bucket-list items with your loved one might be a great way to spend the time remaining.

Dreaming has proven to keep terminally ill patients motivated to push forward, while helping to ease the suffering of their decline.

This might be something small like traveling around locally, or something big like traveling to another state to experience the beach. If you can be involved in this planning, be grateful and considerate of this time.


05Steer clear of clichés


When figuring out how to say goodbye to someone who is dying stay away from clichés. An example like “This is God’s Plan” does not help the matter in the least.

First off, everyone says these types of phrases, so they do not feel real, and they might actually hurt the person. Even encouragement like “You are going to beat this” states something that might not be true in the long run.

Ultimately, the best thing to do might be to give a person space when they need it and spend time with them when they are in need of your assistance.


06Spending quality time with them


Sometimes, non-verbal gestures can be the best thing to do when trying to figure out how to say goodbye to someone who is dying.

Stop by and deliver a meal to the loved one and their family. This is a fantastic way to show you care, and you can stay for a little bit and reminisce without the pressure of a planned visit. They may even ask you to stay for the entire meal.

Also, consider asking if you can help them with their chores or errands like shopping, cleaning, taking them to the doctors, etc.

Spending so much time receiving medical attention can be draining for a person who is terminally ill. This proves that you are willing to walk with someone in their challenging time, and are a true source of support. They might be interested in having you help out. These things can be the best way to support a loved one.


07Remembering it all


In the end, sometimes the best way to say goodbye to someone who is dying is to be supportive, show you care and want to be with them, is to listen instead. A person who is terminally ill may just want to talk to you. They are not looking for advice; they just need a sounding board.

Just listening to a person provides room for them to experience whatever they need to, whether it be telling stories or just sitting quietly. This will show beyond a doubt that you are willing to do a lot more than most to help them during this difficult time.