How you can help your loved one and yourself…
If you and your loved one share anticipatory grief, you may be able to support one another and take comfort from special moments together.
Take your cues from how your loved one is feeling, but acknowledge your feelings as well. Keeping a daily journal may help you with this.
Be truthful, especially when you or your loved one is doing poorly. Everyone, whether sick or well, should be treated with honesty.
Respect the privacy of the sick person and allow as much control as possible when making decisions about care and activities.
Go easy on giving advice and be open to it being ignored.
Share your hopes, thoughts and feelings with your loved one. It may provide comfort to you both and build a better understanding of what is important and how you can provide the best support.
Enjoy the good days and make the best of your times together. This can be a good time for you and your loved one to share special moments and remember the important things in your lives. It may help you both to adjust to what is happening.
Reminisce about your life together, the good and the not so good.
Include your loved one in family activities whenever possible.
Spend time together talking, listening to music, watching television, playing cards or games. Share your thoughts and feelings, laughter and tears.
Try to resolve any conflicts or unfinished business that you might have. If this is difficult, perhaps a third person can help both of you come to an understanding.
Share your plans for the future, even though it seems impossible to imagine.
Help the person with putting affairs in order. Settling the estate can help you both to prepare. This is a good time to check that your loved one’s will is up to date and you know where it is.
Take care of yourself. Talk about your feelings and concerns with someone your trust and who understands your situation such as a family member, friend, counsellor or religious advisor.