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5 Things to Say to Someone Who is Dying

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Last Updated on September 26, 2021 by Frank Davis

Oftentimes, we do not know what to say to someone who is near the end of their life or who is terminally ill. To most of us, it is a extremely rare occurrence to encounter such a scenario and we are not experienced in this type of event. In some cases, this may lead to us not visiting or avoiding a patient because of not knowing what to say or do. It can be detrimental to the hospice patient since they may feel more isolated or lonely when those actions are undertaken.

In such a time of need, getting the support of family and friends is a very important thing. In this article, we will be discussing five things that you can say to someone who is dying or terminally ill.

1) Express your feelings

In many cases, we may find it difficult to share these feelings with others, though they deserve to be heard. It is important to do your best to express your feelings toward your loved one. Please let them know how much they mean to you, how much you will miss them, and what this means to the rest of the family. The most important thing to do is not to make it sound as if it was rehearsed, but rather to keep it as real as you can.

2) Reminiscing past memories

It is not unusual for some family members to have a lot of things to discuss when it comes to past memories. It can be useful to start the conversation by saying, “Remember the days when we…” It is a wonderful thing to think back on old memories and laugh at them as you recall them. This is a great way to pass time and open up to one another by taking part in this activity.

3) Ask and give forgiveness

Forgiveness is undoubtedly a challenge that can be quite difficult to accomplish at times. I am aware that you may hesitate whether or not to request it, but once you do, you will feel better once you have done so. Also, another thing you might want to keep in mind is that it will be beneficial for you both if you release grievances that have been raging between you and your loved one. In light of the past issues being resolved, the two of you can now move on in your lives knowing that a previous issue is no longer a problem.

Further Reading:
What is the life expectancy after entering hospice care
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4) Enforce that the family will be okay

There are many patients out there who worry and stress out about their family members’ futures without them. I have found that there is no better way to assist this than to be positive and reassure the patient that everything will be fine. It would be really helpful if you said things like, “Bob is all grown up now, he will be fine, because of the wife who looks after him a lot” or “the pets will be looked after, since Frank has them and he loves animals so much”.

5) Thanking the patient

It would be okay to use those words in a complementary manner as a reminder of how easy it is to say or write things like “Thank you” and “I am grateful.”. Sometimes it may be “Thanks so much for all the things you taught me, I really appreciate it.” or “You were able to take care of me when I was in need, and I am very grateful to you.” or “Thank you, It is my privilege to be able to call you a friend.” Regardless of what it is, don’t wait too long to act on it.


Now that you have read the five things you should say to someone who is dying, you may have a vague idea of what you would want to say to your loved one in this difficult time. In case you feel like it would be more comfortable, you can even go with another family member or a group of friends if that makes you feel more at ease. In my opinion, it is not a good idea to avoid those on hospice care because of not knowing what to say. As long as you believe in yourself and offer the right support, patients will surely benefit from that.

We would like to hear from you if you have any suggestions. Feel free to comment below. Hospice Valley of Los Angeles can be reached at (818)433-0068 if you need more information on hospice care.

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Further Reading:
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Author: Frank Davis

After working in the healthcare field for over ten years, Frank Davis has developed considerable expertise and offers you valuable insights into the industry through blogs. He has published blogs for Hospice Valley, Senior Home Care, and 24 Hour Care, and in his leisure time, Frank enjoys reading and writing.

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