How to Support Someone Dying of a Terminal Illness

Terminal illnesses can be hard enough for the sufferer to endure, but they can often be just as challenging for friends and family who have to watch as their loved ones lose their battle and succumb to their illness. Sometimes, it can be even more frustrating knowing there’s nothing you can do to help except be there during their time of need. If a friend or family member is currently living with a terminal illness, here are a few helpful tips for supporting them. 

Research Pain-Relieving Options

Prescribed medication isn’t always enough to alleviate your loved one’s discomfort, especially during their last life stages. Discuss the use of alternative products with them and their healthcare provider, such as CBD tinctures from leading suppliers like Secret Nature CBD

While quality CBD drops won’t cure terminal illnesses, some evidence suggests they might be effective for cancer pain management. If your loved one has tried all prescribed options without success, it might be time to look outside the box.

Keep Them Company

Many people with terminal illnesses don’t have the energy or required wellness to entertain themselves with sports, shopping, and other exciting activities. Keep them engaged in a comfortable setting and come up with ways to distract them from their pain and discomfort. Even something as simple as watching a movie with them, reading to them, or talking to them might be all the support they need to feel much better than they did. 

Don’t Withhold Information

When someone is unwell with a terminal illness, healthcare professionals often share information with their approved family members. It can be tempting to withhold challenging details with the ill person to save them from further grief, but very rarely do people with terminal illnesses want to be left in the dark regarding their own health. Even if you think you’re doing them a favor, always include your loved one in discussions about their healthcare needs. 


It’s only natural to spend time reminiscing about your life when you know when it will end. Some people with terminal illnesses do this privately, but others want to share their memories with those they love. 

As hard as it can be to hear someone special to you talking about the highlights and lowlights of their existence, take the time to listen without judgment. Even if conversations move toward concerns and fears about death, being a listening ear can sometimes be enough to help them feel more comfortable about what’s to come. 

Ask If You Can Do Anything

You can sometimes feel helpless when a loved one is dying of a terminal illness like cancer. You can’t do anything to prevent it, and there’s sometimes very little you can do to relieve their associated discomfort. However, there’s nothing wrong with asking if there’s anything you can do to help to make their situation a little more bearable. 

Supporting someone dying of a terminal illness is likely one of the hardest things you will ever do in life. Even if you feel helpless and don’t think there’s anything you can do to help, taking some of the actions above might be all it takes to make, your loved one feel a little bit better about their situation.




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Rasha writes about family, parenting, and home décor for Unfinished Man. Drawing from her experiences raising her own kids, she provides tips on creating warm, welcoming spaces. Rasha also shares home staging expertise to help transform houses into magazine-worthy dream homes.

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