Eventually our time as a caregiver will come to an end and our loved one will pass on. This can be a very tiring and trying time. This is also a bittersweet time. The end of a painful journey is coming to an end but you are also saying a final goodbye to that loved one.
This can be a long goodbye at times lasting from a few hours to a few weeks.
So what should you do when your loved one is actively dying?
- Make the loved one your priority—take the time to spend with your loved one, hold his/her hand and talk to him/her.
- Remember hearing is the last sense to go—even if your loved one is in a common or sleeping s/he can still hear you. Take the time to say what needs to be done and make peace. Don’t regret what is left unsaid.
- Cherish the time—cherish these last moments with your loved one. Take the time to reminisce, share memories and tell him/her how much you love him.
- Respect his/her wishes—a lot of decisions have to be made in a hurry during this time. Knowing your loved ones wishes help to eliminate chaos and confusion.
- Accept your loved one is dying—this is difficult and you will find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster, but allow yourself to feel and be honest about your feelings
- Maintain a peaceful environment—keep your loved one as peaceful and calm as possible. Any dissention should be taken out of the room.
- Follow your loved ones lead—is s/he discussing seeing a loved one or angels?, does s/he want to discuss about passing over? Go with what is comfortable for your loved one. Don’t insist, “no you’re not dying” because s/he will know better.
- Remember to take time to also take care of yourself during this time.
- Stay in the moment—don’t try to get too far ahead of yourself. Take time to cherish the moment and don’t try to overanalyze everything.
How have you dealt with a loved one who is dying?