Seeing a loved one decline is always difficult, but especially when there is a significant decline in a short time.
This realization is often difficult for family members to accept.
Questions begin to be asked such as:
- Why did we not realize?
- How did this happen?
- What do we do now?
- What could we have done differently?
So how do we deal with a dramatic decline in a loved one?
- Accept that this is the new reality—that is much easier said than done, but things are not going back to where they used to be.
- Ask for prayer from family and friends. Asking for prayer never hurts, but also think carefully before placing information on social media sites.
- Understand that only God knows the day, time and hour a loved one is called home. That could be on that day, a month later, a year later or twenty years later. God will provide the comfort and strength necessary to walk the journey He’s taken you on.
- Take the necessary steps to make the loved one as comfortable and well cared for as possible.
- Bathe the situation in prayer. Every situation is different and sometimes the situation is drawn out, while at other times decisions have to be made quickly. God can provide the guidance, wisdom and comfort that is needed during this time.
- Contact the necessary friends and family members that need to be notified. Even if death is not imminent, they may want to visit and enjoy the time they have together.
- Discuss the possibilities for the worst case now, instead of having to make split second decisions later on. Determine what the person being cared for wants and his/her wishes for the last stages of life, as well as funeral plans.
What plans have you made for the future?