It’s definitely a challenge watching a family member work through a terminal illness, in some respects just waiting for the inevitable to happen. It’s a given that we’ll all lose a parent at one time or another. My spiritual beliefs help me to understand the process, which always helps.
All these challenges are made easier of course when all family members pull together but that doesn’t always happen. Whether we’re 40 or 70 years old, if we’ve always behaved a certain way, the odds are we will continue to behave that way unless we change it, whether we’re ill or not. I believe age is immaterial and having a terminal illness has very little to do with it.
Unfortunately dealing with a terminal illness means everyone has to work with a different dialogue in what can be very stressful circumstances. Everyone must therefore continue to work together to bring about the best outcome for the relative who is terminally ill. It also depends on how the family communicates with each other… but in some circumstances it is often the patient who finds it hard to communicate.
From my own experience, having watched family work through similar illnesses, I know how different things can be. Both family members took the pressure off, slowly came to terms with their illness and allowed the family to help. Sometimes it’s often the stubbornness of the patient and not the patient’s circumstances that is responsible for some of their behaviour. It unfortunately creates a void and more stress in an already stressful situation.
As with any terminal illness it’s so important that all family members work together so that they stay united in such stressful times. It needs to happen.