We are pleased to be working with Craig Meadows, Founder of Surviving Day One Survivingdayone.com | craig@survivingdayone.com to address this very difficult subject.

There’s nothing more jarring than hearing that a loved one has a terminal illness. While the news can leave you reeling, it’s important to take a step back and know how to handle the difficult road ahead of you both. Here are just a few of the ways you can support your loved one, while also preparing for the inevitable future.

Be Prepared to Talk About Tough Topics

Talking about your loved one’s terminal diagnosis is a painful conversation to have, but it’s important to discuss the difficult details surrounding their passing. For example, if you will be involved in making final arrangements for your loved one, you need to know what their last wishes are. Too many grieving loved ones overspend on memorial services when making decisions under pressure, and the complicated process of grief can make the task even more difficult. Your brain simply cannot be rational when you are racked with grief and emotion, which is why it’s important to pre-plan funeral options as much as possible with your loved one. Not only does this help reduce unnecessary funeral costs, but it also allows you to honor your loved one by letting them choose how they wish to be remembered.

Listen to Your Loved One’s Concerns

If you have a serious talk about your loved one’s final wishes, you’ll save yourself some stress and frustration in the future. More importantly, you will be opening the door for your loved one to talk about their own fears about the future. End-of-life emotions can hit those affected by a terminal illness in waves, and those waves feel especially overwhelming when they are not allowed to express their fears to the people they love and trust the most.

Your loved one may be angry over the diagnosis, or may feel regret, but fear is always a part of dying as well. Know that there is no right thing you can say or do to make those feelings go away, but there are things you can say to ease the process, the most important being that you love them and that you are grateful for the time you have together. You can also simply say nothing at all, and just listen. The grief process may feel less overwhelming for both of you if you take time to really listen to their concerns and allow them to feel understood.

Plan for the Costs

While thinking about money at a time like this seems in poor taste, it’s important to remember insurance won’t cover certain medical treatments or care, which will leave your family with a potentially large bill to take care of. If you foresee a significant amount of out-of-pocket costs will be involved, a personal loan or a home refinance could make it easier to handle any forthcoming bills. This refi FAQ can talk you through the steps of a refinance, while your bank can give you special insight into a personal loan. With so much to think about now, not having to worry about how to pay for treatments or care can offer some extra peace of mind.

 Practice Self-Care

 When a loved one is dying, much of your time will be focused on offering support. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or help with household chores, no gesture of caring is too small to make a difference to your loved one. While offering your love and support is important, you also have to be careful not to offer too much of yourself during this emotional time. The risks of caregiver stress and burnout are all too real, and can be increased when care is being provided to a terminally-ill loved one. Burnout can quickly turn the normal grieving process into more complicated grief, which can lead to serious depression and mental health issues.

As you walk this path with your loved one, be sure to take some time for yourself too. Keep your diet clean and healthy, get plenty of exercise, and reach out for support from other family and friends. After all, this is a painful time for you as well. You deserve a chance to vent your own fears, and you also deserve to feel happiness when you can.

A terminal illness can rock the foundation of even the most solid families. Dealing with the loss of a loved one will always carry pain, but planning for the end of life can help alleviate some of the stress. Remember to be there for the person you love, and keep taking care of yourself along the way.

 For information visit Survivingdayone.com