Chapter 5: The moment of death

Section summary

  • There is no single normal way to cope with the dying of someone close to you. There are many ways to react.
  • Practical steps can be taken to prepare for someone's death such as ensuring there is a will and making funeral plans.
  • Children can be supported with reassurance and routine.
  • If you are overwhelmed with stress and grief, it is important to ask for help from family, friends or mental health professionals.
  • Make the most of your time left with the person who is dying. Take the opportunity to share memories together and think about ways you can celebrate her or his life.
  • If possible, find moments to connect with the person who is dying and say what matters most. Ask for help from health care professionals if you do not know how to start the conversation.
  • While it is not always possible to be present at the moment someone dies, remember that you are present in spirit if not in body.
  • Certain religious and cultural traditions may be important at the moment of death and immediately after. Let the health care team know about these ahead of time.