Guide Line for talking to the dying

A big thank you to dear blogging friend Lydia for referring me to what be a very helpful and informative article. For me it helps to clarify so much.
I have always been encouraging of the idea of visiting the dying. Believe me, when you are diagnosed as being terminal, irregardless of the nature of the illness or condition, time takes on a whole new meaning to you. You appreciate the meaning and value of every day, hour, minute and even every second.
When such a patient agrees to share some of their valued, precious time with us, we should feel honoured that they would be willing to share what to them is precious time with us.
For I think most of us, myself included preparing for such a visit may bring about feelings from nervousness to fear to almost panic. WHAT DO I SAY???? It can be those very real thoughts and feelings that keep us away.
Not visiting produces a double negative whammy. We deprive ourselves of a beautiful opportunity, that we well may regret for the rest of our lives. On the other side of the table if you don’t visit, what do you imagine this May due to that patient? Maybe thoughts like “they know I am dying and don’t even care enough to visit”.
OK, that gets us back to what do you say? The site listed below actually has well written, well explained guideline on exactly that. What should or shouldn’t we say. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

4 Responses to Guide Line for talking to the dying

  1. M T McGuire says:

    I think it’s excellent advice. What Katie’s friend could have said was something softer based around sympathy for Pat, wow, all those tubes, it must have been hard at first. But essentially, I really liked the idea, dump out not in.

    What do you reckon?



  2. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – that’s such a good article … the trouble is until the time comes we don’t think about those sorts of things … and when they do hit us … it can be so difficult to adjust and we don’t know where to turn ..

    Such a good point .. about their time is short and so so valuable .. let’s do the best we can for them now before it’s too late …

    We all need to read your blog, the comments and articles like this .. cheers Hilary

  3. Mel says:

    I love it. It’s simple, it’s neat and it’s something I think ought to be handed out to folks visiting–and to the family TO hand out.
    People’s hearts are genuinely good–it’s fear and awkwardness that drives the stupid stuff to come out of our mouths. Most times we don’t realize the impact of what it is that we just said….sometimes we do and have instant regret. This little concept takes a lot ofthe guesswork out of it.
    And I love that the person in the middle can kvetch all they want! As well they oughta be allowed. It’s their trauma, whatever the trauma is.
    I’m going to draw this out, hang it on the wall — tattoo on my brain even. Brilliant for me–I’m a visual kinda gal.

  4. Mike Kenney says:

    The reality is it’s not all about us. There are an awful lot of people that are in that center circle with me. I sometimes need to hear their kvetching along with mine. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in screaming, “CANCER SUCKS”. I also have a lot of friends who are survivors and whose advice I do need to hear at times – even when I don’t want to.

    Believe me I get the idea behind the article but at the same time it’s not ALL about me. Yeah I’m the guy dying but my wife and kids are also dying from this, but they will also have to keep living through it long after I’m peacefully at rest.

    Keep in mind that the people in the article that we’re looking on as calloused friends wouldn’t be there if they didn’t care.

    ********* Hi Mike and welcome to the blog. You bring up a very valid point and I thank you for that. I would appreciate hearing more. BUT, notice the first line of your comment has been edited to remove what I see as a vulgar comment, such will not be allowed.

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