If you are lucky enough to be present while your loved one is in the process of dying, have the conversation you always wanted to have. This is your chance, do it, there will never be another time.
Now, I’m not necessarily saying choose this moment to confess all your sins and how horrible they treated you but turn that around and have a conversation about the positive impact they have had on your life. Talk about the positive effects they have had on their community, their workplace, where they volunteer, with their family and friends.
It’s hard to know what you can do to support your loved one who is dying however, one gift you can give is to share how loved they made you feel. Share how much you appreciated them coaching you, defending you, paying for your dinner, letters of encouragement, etc. Showing up for you, even if just once in your life, is a gift to be cherished. Showing up for someone else, in whatever capacity you are able, is a gift to them and frankly, to you as well.
Write down some ways you can show up for those you love and those who are actively dying, this will be extremely helpful when you’re in an emotional state before, during or after your conversations.
Give them a quick call, even if they are unable to hold the phone because of lack of strength or where they are in the process or someone who is with them can hold it up to their ear. It doesn’t need to be a long conversation just, “I’m thinking about you and wanted to call”.
Put together soothing music or some fun songs to take their mind to another place, dying is scary on all sides.
Read a book to them, conscious or not, they can hear you.
Take a puzzle to do together, you don’t even have to talk, concentrating on something besides the inevitable provides some relief. Here are some great puzzles: https://maddcappgames.com/collections/puzzles
Give them a hand or foot massage, except if they are in pain. You know how great it is to get your hair washed by someone else when you go to the salon, they might love a gentle scalp massage.
Comedy shows are great, watch a couple of those, laughter is the best medicine.
Put headsets on them, turn on YouTube to favorite bands from their era. The headsets help them focus on the music and what’s in front of them, not what’s going on with them providing a little break from the stress.
Hold their hand, whether they are able to hold yours back or not. The warmth of connection is powerful.
Let me know if you have other suggestions.
Sending you courage to connect and have the conversation