When Someone You Love Is Dying

Nothing fully prepares you for the anguish of a loved one’s dying. Saying goodbye to a loved one is a time of emotional turmoil. You may feel confusion, longing, anger, and sorrow as well as physical and emotional distress. Yet this can also be a time of deep understanding as you extend yourself in love and concern.

In his book Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life, Ira Byock explores how to families can strengthen bonds and experience moments of profound meaning. A hospice physician, Dr. Byock maintains that the dying person and loved ones can use the final months, weeks, and days to talk at a deeper level about important matters.

He suggests that mutually communicating these five aspects of relationships can bring about as good a closing as possible.

  1. “I forgive you.”
  2. “Forgive me.”
  3. “Thank you.”
  4. “I love you.”
  5. “Goodbye.”

It takes great courage to discuss these sensitive topics. However, they can be very important in expressing how you feel and to help resolve any misunderstandings.

When all is said and done, those who have been able to have these conversations seem to find a more enduring peace despite their grief.

At VNSNY Hospice Care, we are committed to helping families through difficult transitions. We provide spiritual counselors and offer grief support to families.


For more information, download our free patient guide today.

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