The death of a loved one is often painful and difficult, no matter what the circumstance of that death may be. Sometimes we know in advance that death is approaching. It can be a painful time, as we watch our loved one suffer, knowing there’s nothing we can do to keep the end at bay. However, it’s also a precious time, giving us the opportunity to say goodbye properly.  

It’s important that you don’t miss the chance to make this time meaningful.  

  • Face reality honestly. Don’t keep insisting that your loved one is going to recover. It may seem like a comforting thing to say, but it can really make the person feel worse when he or she knows that death is near. Make your peace with the truth, and avoid holding out for a miracle at the expense of the time you have left.  
  • Spend time with your loved one. Time is the most precious gift you can give someone at the end of life, and sometimes, just being there is enough. Hold your loved one’s hand, talk to him or her, offer a light massage, or stroke the person’s hair. Little things make a big difference to someone at the end of life, and your presence is precious.   
  • Don’t wait until the end to say goodbye. You won’t know exactly when the last moment is going to be, so say the things you need to say now, even if you don’t think it’s time yet. Demonstrate how much you love the person, making that the focus of your actions during these last days.  
  • Don’t be afraid of humor and light moments. It’s ok to smile or even joke, especially if humor has always been a part of your personality and relationship. It’s also ok to cry if that’s what you feel. Sharing honest emotions with someone you love shows that you care, and can be comforting. At the same time, do your best to contribute to a peaceful environment for your loved one. 
  • Talk about old memories and shared experiences. Sharing memories of good times can help you feel closer to your loved one, and can even lead to making new memories. When the person you love dies, you’ll have those moments to treasure, and help you find your way toward the healing process.  
  • Encourage your loved one to share feelings. Be a good listener, allowing your loved one to say what needs to be said without interruption. Some of the feelings may be difficult to hear, especially if the person is anxious or afraid, but you can demonstrate your love and care by being there to listen.  

Another important thing you can do to make the end of life easier is to help your loved one prepare. You can help make sure all of the necessary documents are in order, and the people who need important information have it. Now is also the time to reach out to important people in your loved one’s life, to give them a chance to say goodbye, too. Finally, you can help your loved one preplan end of life arrangements so that the funeral service and memorial details will be exactly the way he or she wants them to be.  

When you’re ready to preplan, Greenwood Memorial Park is ready to help. For more than a century, Greenwood Memorial Park has served the San Diego community, building a reputation for quality, sincerity, and trust. We’ve done that by providing exceptional service, caring for people of all cultures and faiths, committed to celebrating the unique life of each individual while respecting the wishes of every family. Visit us today to see our beautiful grounds for yourself, or check out our Plan Ahead page for your free guide to preplanning, or call (619) 241-4312 to learn more.