Coping With Terminal Illness: Taking Care of the Important Things Before It’s Too Late


a book on a table

The most difficult moment in life is hearing that we or someone we love dearly has a terminal illness. No one is ever fully prepared for that moment, whether it happens in your Baltimore doctor’s office or in a hospice. Coping is hard, but it is possible, especially if you don’t let those difficult feelings keep you from dealing with the important things before it’s too late.

Be Proactive About Mental Health

Take steps to protect your own mental health and the mental health of those you love most. By facing up to the emotions that come with a diagnosis of terminal illness, the ill person will be best able to cope with what’s coming. Surviving loved ones will have the strategies they need to deal with grief and continue productive and satisfying lives.

Talk with a psychologist in Baltimore about how to deal with grief, how to express love, and a lifetime of gratitude in ways that empower and uplift, and how everyone can be there for one another. When you’re facing the end, it can be easy to forget about laughing and enjoying one another’s company. With professional guidance, you can make the most of your last days together and be emotionally ready for what comes next.

Make Smart Financial Decisions

Don’t put off key financial decisions until the last moment or, even worse, until after death. It’s always best to work out finances in advance so that everyone is on the same page and the whole family can move forward without the burden of financial stress.

In some cases, it may be most appropriate to seek out viatical settlement companies to cash in on a life insurance policy that’s no longer necessary. That cash can be used to cross some items off a bucket list, pay off debts so surviving family members are in a better position, or pay for medical or supportive care that will make things easier for the terminally ill family member.

Take Care Of The Final Arrangments

Make sure all the final arrangements are taken care of right away. The last thing surviving family members need to deal with in those first days after they’ve lost a loved one is worrying over burial and memorial details.

Taking care of this early empowers the person with a terminal illness, giving them control over their final days and their own end-of-life celebration. It also gives everyone peace of mind that a source of tremendous stress has been removed from surviving family members.

Don’t Neglect Self-Care

It can be easy to skip those vital elements of self-care that we all need for mental and physical health after hearing a diagnosis of a terminal illness. Whether you are an ill person or the loved one of an ill person, the pressure is on to spend as much time as possible with family.

While family time is crucially important, everyone will enjoy that time more if they’re making a bit of time for self-care. This includes eating well, getting a bit of exercise, and going out occasionally to do some things you enjoy. When everyone is kind to themselves, they’re in a better position to be kind to others.

Make The Most Of Your Time

The last moments you enjoy with the people you love most should not all be about grief. You do need time and space to grieve, and it is appropriate to take time to do emotionally difficult things like go over family memories together or patch up broken relationships.

But when this painful time is all over, surviving loved ones should be able to look back on a time that wasn’t just painful. There should be some happy memories of laughter, love, and shared experiences that will grow brighter as the immediate pain of loss fades with time.