Chapter 4: At the bedside

Providing reassurance

When she was quiet, I was quiet. It seemed ridiculous to “make conversation.” Yet sometimes she seemed to want me to do that.

In the moments or hours before death, families may be at a loss on how to provide support and reassurance to the person who is dying. Below are some suggestions that may help. Click on each one for more information that may help you gently navigate through.

Sometimes the dying person may feel that they are the glue holding the family together. Letting them know that the family will continue to stay together can provide needed reassurance and a sense of peace. If the healthcare team says that death is very near, but the person seems to be hanging on, you might consider providing reassurance that it is all right for them to die.

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