Dear Mary
Visiting a dying friend.

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Dear Mary,

I have an opportunity to go visit an old neighbor who is dying. Although I am happy to make this visit to see her, I am also scared about what to say or do. Looking forward to your thoughts.

 

Peter

Hi Peter:

First let me congratulate for your making the effort to visit your dying friend.  The topic of death scares almost everyone away.  Here is what I suggest.

1.       Think twice before bringing her flowers.  Often there is very limited space in their room and odds are it is already filled with flowers

2.      Perhaps think about bringing some pretty / cheery balloons. I like to bring a battery powered candle.  It has no flame so it is safe, yet can create a nice glow.  Often evenings when the visiting has ended, a flameless candle can be a calming, relaxing addition to a lonely room.

3.      Don’t be afraid to hug and kiss the person you are visiting.  Sometimes just holding their name is the best gift ever.

4.      Don’t try and entertain them by turning the TV on and watching a show together.  Just be with them.

5.      Listen and be very careful if you give them advice.  Your advice just might make them upset or get confused.

6.      Share a happy or funny story that they will enjoy.

7.      Don’t share bad news with them

8.      If they fall asleep, stay as long as you can.  They may wake up and be glad to see you are still there

9.      At the end of your visit, offer to come again.

10.   Go back again, as often as you can.

Good luck with your visit and enjoy every minute with your neighbour.

 

Mary

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Caregiving Matters

Mary is a daughter. She also Chairs our charity. Mary has also held Director roles on three other boards, most recently with The Palcare Network of York Region.

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