When someone is nearing death in their final stage of a chronic illness, it can be extremely difficult for their loved ones to cope. It’s a dreaded time that can be impossible to accept, despite any past preparations. Grieving is a natural response during such a devastating period, and these emotions can become overwhelming. Therefore, friends and relatives should learn to recognize the steps of grief, in order for them to be able to exercise control over their emotions and then focus on supporting their loved one as their condition worsens. These five steps are denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and finally acceptance.
Initially, grieving individuals are too shocked to comprehend a loss, and this denial is a protective mechanism against the intensity of that grief. This stage can last a while, at least long enough for the individual to come to terms with the effect of an emotional toll. After denial, one can experience what’s known as “bargaining”, in which guilt causes one to continuously think about what could’ve been done to prevent or alleviate the severity of the loss. Depression takes place afterward as the reality of the situation sets in and the individual experiences the fullest degree of their sadness. The unfairness of the circumstances may provoke anger of the distressed person. Here the individual is most likely angered due to feelings of helplessness and a sense of injustice. Eventually once going through those stages, they will reach a form of acceptance, or at least a more emotionally stable way of coping with the impact of their loss.
Despite the bleakness of the circumstances, it is essential to provide support for someone who is entering the end of their life. In cases where this care cannot be supplied by the family, some seek assistance. Hospice care is an option that ensures the proper medical attention and emotional support, whether the ill person requires routine or continuous home care. Regardless, it’s important to find help during a time in which the burden of grieving and a medical routine is too great to carry alone, in order that those in the final stage of a terminal illness can feel at peace.