End-of-life care

When a loved one is dying, conversations about the end of life can be uncomfortable and difficult. Still, discussing end-of-life care is important.

Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to help your loved one make important end-of-life decisions — such as whether to remain at home, move to a nursing home or other facility, or seek hospice care. Also, you can work with your loved one's health care team to make sure your loved one remains comfortable at the end of life. Pain, anxiety and other end-of-life symptoms can often be treated.

Even at the end of life, you can continue to support and nurture your relationship with your loved one. Simply being there can be an important source of strength and comfort for everyone.

Grief

When a loved one dies, grief can feel like a dagger in your heart. Often, grief triggers raw, intense emotions. You might wonder how you'll ever pick up the pieces and heal your wounds — yet not feel as if you're betraying your loved one's memory.

There are no quick fixes for the grief and anguish that follow a loved one's death. As you face your grief, acknowledge the pain and know that it's part of the healing process. Take good care of yourself, and seek support from friends and loved ones.

Although your life will never be quite the same, the searing pain of grief will eventually become less intense. Accepting your new "normal" can help you reconcile your losses and move on with your life.

Apr. 04, 2014