Chapter 2: What can I do?

Key ideas

  • There are some practical steps you can take to help prepare for the death and make life more manageable later on.
  • You can take care of the will, locate keys to the safety deposit box and identify the passwords for online accounts and social media.
  • Feelings of guilt are normal when preparing for the death of someone who is still alive.
  • There may be ways to make the most of your time left with the person.
  • Involve children as much as they would like.
  • Children can be supported in various ways, including informing teachers, maintaining routines and providing reassurance. Remember that children typically grieve in short periods followed by regular activity.
  • Family disagreements are common at the end of life. Requesting a family meeting with the health care team is often helpful.
  • Together with the person who is dying, think about a family event or activity that will celebrate his or her life.