It’s a challenge watching a family member work through a terminal illness, in some respects just waiting for the inevitable to happen.
My spiritual beliefs help me to understand the process, which helps. All these challenges are made easier of course when family members choose to pull together, but that’s not always a given. Whether we’re 40 or 70 years old, if you’ve always behaved a certain way, the odds are you will continue to behave that way, whether you’re terminally 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 will work with a different dialogue in what can be very stressful circumstances. Everyone must 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’s often the patient who finds it hard to communicate.
From my own experiences, having watched another family member work through her terminal illnesses, I know how different things can be. This family member took the pressure off the rest of her family, came to terms with her 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 their behaviour. It unfortunately creates a void and more stress in an already stressful situation.
But as with any terminal illness it’s important all family members work together so that they stay united in such stressful times.