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Letting Go... How to be Present with a Terminal Loved One

Some helpful insight into supporting your loved one who is terminal.

Quite often I get clients that come to connect with those on the “other side” of life, then during the meeting they will begin to tell me of a loved one close to them who has been diagnosed with a terminal disease.

It can be heartbreaking to see people suffer through watching a loved one who is about to leave “their” life, as often the news of a loved one who is terminally ill does effect the survivor as if death is personally happening  to them as well … and it is! A part of who we are will not be able to express with that person on this physical plane anymore. In writing this article I hope to bring understanding and guidance for those who would benefit from my experiences.

It is my belief… the soul knows when it’s time to ascend.  We leave not one minute before or after our appointed time. How one grows through this process of leaving the body is individual for everyone, but I would like to focus this article on those who have time to consciously resolve “unfinished business” before their departure into pure Spirit form.

A Hypothesis on the “Five Stages of Grief” introduced by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, in 1969, can help us to understand part of the “whole-being” stages that a person grows through while coming to terms with their eminent departure from this Earthly plane; their survivors also move through these stages. The stages are as follows:

Denial. They refuse to acknowledge the inevitable, needing more proof as if a mistake has been made often seeking other medical opinions and diagnoses. They can act as if it’s simply untrue or ignore the situation thinking it will go away on its own. Eventually they realize it’s not going away on its own and they can’t ignore it to make it go away and then they become,

Angry, anger at having their lives end prematurely. They may become envious and resentful of those who will continue on, especially if they feel their life and dreams will go unfulfilled. They can become angry with God, blaming others and angry with their own body for betraying them. Individuals who are dying will then attempt to ,

Bargain, with God or another religious figure, making promises to change and make amends, atone for their wrongdoings. When bargaining fails, they experience, 

Depression and hopelessness. During this stage, the terminally ill may mourn the loss of health that has already occurred, as well as the impending losses of family and plans. Finally, those dying learn to come to,

Acceptance the inevitable, paving the way for a smoother transition both for themselves and loved ones.

These stages can be experienced in any order for both the patient and survivor. Sometimes the survivor is not “in-sync” with their loved one who is preparing to go. The survivor may not be ready to let them go. This can be very difficult because that person leaving has come to acceptance, and will need their survivor to hear them confess their love, their wishes, their apologies… forgiveness… their resolve.

My personal experiences with loss of a loved one, and my acquired inner wisdom of “spiritual realities” have taught me a great deal about being part of the “process”… and the importance of being PRESENT with and for your loved one. I would like to offer my wisdom for those who may find themselves within this experience.

Just as your birth, Physical Death is a sacred event.  Even though you, too, are experiencing the slow separation of the physical bond, that person who you invested your time, energy, love, dreams, life, and memories with is all very real on so many levels…. You will have the opportunity to come to find a new balance and healing after your loved one has passed into Spirit, but they are preparing to go now… it is important for you to BE THERE FOR THEM.. to honor the sacred event of their going home. No one wants to “die” alone, you can be in a room of people and still feel alone…  Be PRESENT for your loved one and put THEIR needs first.  

Don’t’ sit there like a hawk waiting for them to “die”. People in their last days of life are very psychic and sensitive to both worlds…  and they will know if you are comfortable being a part of their experience or not.  No one wants to see the fear and grief in their loved ones eyes before passing.  They cannot console you as they are in a natural process of preparing for the “new life”.

 I suggest holding the intention to bring the “vibes” of love, acceptance, and peace into that space when you are with them. Doing this will change the atmosphere and ambiance in the room… and feels healing to your loved one.  Be a present and loving witness.  Read to them, sing to them, hold their hand. You might want to hold a family prayer circle over them, or just sit there and mentally inviting a peaceful and calm energy to ease their pain and bless their journey. 

Talk to them… and most of all LISTEN. Say what you need to say from the depth of your soul. Acknowledge and honor their presence in your life… all of it, the good and not-so-good has benefited your life in some way and has made you stronger and defined your life in some way. As you open up to speak your truth… you set the tone for them to know it’s safe for them to say what they need to say.  Withhold Judgement or Correction! Realize what they speak about  in their last days are REAL to them! Even if you don’t remember things quite that way… it’s not about you.  Your loved one may speak about unfinished business, about how they were angry or scared, who they loved and never told, who they wanted to forgive or be forgiven by.  Let them unburden themselves…  this helps them to be light when they go.

You may want to invite family members or people who have been important to your loved one but have not talked for some reason or another to come and make peace.  Sometimes there are grown kids, adults involved that have held onto pain, shame, guilt, fear, resentment with their parent who is terminal. The parent may realize they need to apologize, ask for forgiveness and forgive themselves and over time no one knew how to present the opportunity to resolve this. PLEASE, if this is your situation and your parent is terminal.. make peace.  Do this for YOU! You may never understand what compelled someone to make a decision or choice but what matters most is that you stand up for you, and be courageous enough to claim your own peace. Show up, say what you need to say.. ask for what you need, … yes you are giving them the opportunity to be released from the “toxic bond”… but you will never realize your true and full potential to experience Joy without first knowing experiencing the power of forgiveness. Trust me… you want to do this while they are alive! 

With my loved ones who I have been blessed to witness leaving this life, I have prayed over them, asked for forgiveness, given forgiveness, I’ve asked them if they were willing to forgive themselves. I ask God to cleanse and purify them and to have those appointed Angels to assist in removing any forces or attachments that would hinder their ascension home. I asked that all interaction and participation with my loved one be blessed and any karmic debt be forgiven and all be set free in the light of God.  I ask forgiveness for any promises, vows, agreements I did not keep and ask the I and my loved one be set free of these things.  I ask on behalf of my loved one that any soul pieces and fragments of their being be returned to them whole and blessed and that their journey into bliss be of ease and grace. 

Anything you intuit within that very personal relationship in that space of Grace is perfect. No words are perfect…  your blessed send-off is personal and in that, is perfect.

After they pass… I grieve, we all grieve. But being present in the passing of one you love is an experience no words can describe. All I can say is that it feels healing and soothing to my soul. We receive a new birth into loving arms and few are blessed to release someone they love with the same grace.

I pray my sharing helps someone who is in the tender space of growing through the death of a terminally ill loved one.   God Bless!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

lady-lion January 08, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Samantha, Thank you for you wonderful words of wisdom. I know that this personally helps me, and many others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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