Visit the dying Yes or No

I often recommend always reading all comments yet I know there are those that don’t. I got long winded in the response to a comment today.I think it is an important topic so I am copying the comment and my reply. Please let me know what you think

Jasmine says:

October 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm (Edit)

My cousin is dying ,she doesn’t want to see me.Doesn’t answer my calls.I heard from family that they angry with me about something that was not even my fault,I helped my cousin by being there for her and now she ignores me.Should I still go to visit her ,I’m scared she might close the door on me and that will break my heart.Can anyone have any suggestions?

Hi Jasmine my heart and prayers go out to your cousin, the immediate family, extended family and all involved. Is am so sorry to hear of your cousin’s condition.
First off though understand, I am not a doctor nor a therapist. I am just a regular guy sharing my thoughts and feelings based on my own. When it comes to a situation like this it becomes very personal for each individual involved, each will react and deal with it in their own way. Emotions are running very high which may cause us to react in the heat of the moment in ways that are totally out of character. Understanding of that is very important.
Obviously, I know nothing of the circumstances that have lead to these apparent hard feelings. There is nothing you can do about past happenings, you can’t change the past. All we can change is how we go forward.
If your cousin knows she is dying, likely her emotions are all over the map and can even change from minute to minute. I think the best thing, to support her in her struggle is to respect her wishes in this time of likely her greatest need.
You say you would be devistated if you showed up and were turned away, very understandable. I have to wonder what emotions would be triggered on the other side of the door. The stress or what ever it may cause your cousin who is already carrying such a heavy load. As hard as it is for you I would suggest for now, respect her wishes by not adding to her burden. Now is a time to be focusing in on the wants and needs of the patient doing what ever we can to make it easier for them. As well intentioned as we may be we don’t want to add to the burden the patient is already struggling to deal with.
I would suggest possibly sending her a card or letter. In that letter open your heart and express all your positive and loving feelings. Make it a letter of loving support, don’t even mention what ever it is that is causing the hard feelings. A message of loving support. Possibly then end it with a comment like. “If you feel up to it I really would like to visit.”
You will have then done what you can, you bared your soul, opened your heart and expressed all the love and support you can.
Be prepared as you may or may not get a response. If by chance you don’t let it go, knowing you did everything you could under these so difficult times


6 Responses to Visit the dying Yes or No

  1. Hilary says:

    Hi Bill – I agree with your response … it is the person in the bed – be they ill, be they terminally .. we should always consider them; Jasmine has checked and for now the answer is ‘no’ … but with a card could be a note on something her cousin enjoys talking about … and then an extra PS … I’d love to visit – but understand if you’d rather not …

    Also letters/cards are always welcome – especially by the carers – as they have something to talk about over and above their own subjects … always helpful – I wrote out to family and friends and asked them to send cards/letters … keeping that steady flow flowing and then my mother didn’t feel abandoned – as she was elderly and terminally ill for many a year. And I was her conduit on life …

    Hope this extra helps Jasmine .. so pleased you could help Jasmine … with thoughts to one and all – Hilary

    Thank you Hilary, your comments and support is always appreciated

  2. Jasmine says:

    Hi bill,thank you for taking some time to answer my post.yes that is a good idea.I will try and send her a letter and hope she will respond,I know now my cousin is going through difficult times.I do not want to add an extra burden to the situation.

  3. M T McGuire says:

    Gook luck Jasmine. What will be will be but I can say, from my own experience, that people in your cousin’s predicament appreciate a letter and it will help you, too, to know that you made that gesture of support.

    All the best and God bless


    Thank you my friend

  4. Mel says:

    I think your response was spot on Bill.

    Jasmine….I’ve no doubt it will be tough to forego visiting and as much as it hurts your heart NOT to visit, it’s really about the wishes of the terminal person and honouring/respecting them. But be kind to you. Write that letter. Let the person know how they’ve touched your life for the good. Let them know some of your favorite memories. Tell them you love them.
    And send the letter knowing that you’ve honoured their wishes and that you’ve honoured your feelings as well.
    Sometimes the most loving thing is the toughest to do….do it anyway.
    ((((( Jasmine )))) I send prayers for healing to you.

    Thanks Mel

  5. rangewriter says:

    Your response is super sensitive and absolutely well thought out. Jasmine was smart to address this question to you, our resident expert on the unexpected and the expected upheavals of the process of dying. This must be why you are still here with us, still teaching us lessons!

    I thank you so much for your kind words. When ever I respond to a comment such as this, I say a little prayer asking for guidance. Give credit where it is due.

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