It is one of the hardest things to watch a friend die.When a friend doesn’t have long to live, it’s common to struggle with difficult emotions like grief and anger, as well as an increased awareness of your own mortality.Don’t forget that your friend needs your support now more than ever, no matter how hard this time is for you.It is possible to make the end of a friend’s life comfortable and happy by coming to terms with the news, spending quality time with them, and providing practical help.
Step 1: You can learn about your friend’s illness.
When you find out about your friend’s illness, educate yourself about what they’re going through.Books and internet articles can be used to find out how the illness progresses.Creditable resources for terminal illnesses can be found in national organizations like the American Cancer Society.When you know what their remaining time is like, you can help your friend.
Step 2: You can find ways to deal with your emotions.
Sometimes you need to push your own feelings aside to help your friend, but don’t bottle them up completely.Talk to your family about how you are feeling.Creative hobbies can help cope with intense emotions.It is okay to tell your friend that you are sad, but be careful not to make them feel bad.As your feelings come up, be gentle with yourself.
Step 3: Offer to let others know about it.
If your friend wants you to help them tell their friends, ask.Obey their wishes if they say no.Try to convince your friend to tell others.Say something like, “Anne, I think we should let everyone know.”Do not tell anyone else until you have asked your friend how they want to handle the situation.
Step 4: Join a support group.
Being in the company of people who have lost a loved one can help.These people understand what you are going through and can help.You can find support groups for your friend’s condition by researching aReputable organization.
Step 5: Be present with your friend.
Showing your friend that you care about them and want to spend time with them is the most important thing you can do for them.You don’t have to know what to say.To make them feel loved, look for opportunities to be with them.If your friend is well, you should keep interacting with them.There are ways to have fun together.They can be invited over for dinner, studying, or board games.
Step 6: Your friend should take the lead.
Listen to your friend, they know what they need and want.They can either want to talk about death or not.Allow them to guide your conversations and help them feel comfortable.If your friend is working hard to maintain a cheerful attitude, try to act cheerful around them.Ask them if they want to talk about what they’re going through.Change the subject to what you can do to support them if they don’t want to talk about it.Your friend may not have come to terms with their own mortality yet.If this is the case, be there for them and realize that they may need more support.
Step 7: Don’t talk about the subject of death.
If you don’t acknowledge their death, they might feel awkward.They can be reassured that you are prepared for it if you let them know that.When talking about death, make sure your friend is comfortable with it.Many people are uncomfortable discussing death, so your friend may prefer to talk about leaving or going on a journey.If this is the case for you, you might want to talk to someone you trust first.
Step 8: It’s a good idea to avoid empty reassurances.
Don’t fall back on platitudes, which are not helpful to someone who is dying.Your friend should not be reassured that everything is going to be okay.Don’t be mean, but be honest.If you don’t know what to say, focus on listening.If your friend wants to talk about how they are feeling, ask.If you say, “I know how you feel,” it can make your friend feel worse.
Step 9: Your friend might say things they don’t mean.
Your friend is going through a tough time.If they refuse your help or snap at you, don’t take it personally.If you are angry or upset, try not to let them know.Your friend might say “I know you’ll be happy when I die so you can move on with your life.””I wish I wasn’t losing you at all, but I’m glad about any remaining time we have together.”
Step 10: Don’t wait until the last moment to say important things.
Do it now if you want to tell your friend something.The time between diagnosis and death can be shorter than people think, so don’t take it for granted that you’ll have enough time to say everything later.You may not see your friend again if you leave after a visit.If it is the last time, say goodbye in a way that you won’t regret.
Step 11: Help your friend find information.
If your friend has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, they may feel overwhelmed.They can make informed decisions about their treatment if they learn about it.You can offer to accompany your friend to doctor’s appointments, help them make a list of questions to ask their doctor, or look for books and articles about their illness.
Step 12: There are ways to help your friend.
Don’t wait for your friend to ask for help, volunteer your services if you can.Offer to run an errand, make dinner, pick up your friend’s kids from school, or any of the other things that a friend might not be able to do on their own.Ask your friend what you can do to help, but also give some specific suggestions if they don’t have anything in mind.Listening to music together, reading to them, or praying with them are some of the things that might be included.
Step 13: The other people are close to your friend.
Your friend’s other loved ones are hurting as well.Help them get through this difficult time by reaching out to their spouse, parents, kids, or other friends.Everyone can benefit from the emotional support, and all of you will be able to care for your friend better.If you can help your friend’s spouse or parent with household chores, they will have less responsibilities.
Step 14: If your friend wants to leave a legacy, you should help.
Ask your friend if they want to leave letters for their friends and family, write down the story of their life, or be remembered with a special tradition.You can help make it happen if they do.If your friend wants to preserve some stories from their childhood but doesn’t have the energy to write, you could give them instructions.