On dying (2): “Supporting a terminally ill loved one.”


It is a noteworthy yet unremarkable achievement to have attained the age of 56 without ever thinking much about this topic. More than anything else, serendipity deals the cards in life, and I’ve been damned lucky. There have been mercifully few instances of my having to face up to facts when a friend or loved one has received a terminal diagnosis.

Our friend and colleague Lloyd Wimp did. Lloyd’s been gone almost six years, and when I think back to the period preceding his death, it was me who remained in denial, not him. This recognition informs me rather forcefully that perhaps a burden of improvement lies within me

As this insightful and very useful article makes clear, there is no concise television movie script to follow when it comes to support, and circumstances will vary. Ultimately, in life or death, we humans learn by doing. It’s a strange thing, but there it is.

Terminal illness: Supporting a terminally ill loved one, by Mayo Clinic Staff (Mayo Clinic)

When terminal illness affects a loved one, it isn’t always easy to know how to react. Find out how to offer support and deal with grief.