It’s easy to concentrate on the physical aspects of dying especially when some of the symptoms you are experiencing can cause a lot of distress. But getting your head around what’s happening to you is sometimes the hardest to deal with. It’s often the hardest part for your carers and loved ones too.

You may feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride with your feelings and changes can occur sometimes from minute to minute.

Here are some examples that may ring true for you:

  • Feeling angry
    • why is this happening to me?
    • It’s not fair!
    • Why doesn’t somebody DO something?
    • Why doesn’t somebody LISTEN to me?
  • Feeling frightened:
    • Fear of being in pain
    • Fear of the unknown
    • Fear that loved ones won’t cope without you
    • Fear of being unprepared
  • Feeling sad:
    • About leaving your family behind
    • About not achieving all you wanted to
    • About not seeing the children grow up, grandchild born – all sorts of things to be sad about
  • Feeling resigned
    • I can’t do anything to stop this so may as well just get on with it
  • Feeling peaceful
    • you may have a religious belief that helps support you in this feeling
  • Feeling worried and anxious
    • Am I still needed as a partner/parent/friend?
    • Will I lose control of my mind?
    • Will it change how people view me?
    • Feeling powerless and not in control
  • Feeling embarrassed and self-conscious
    •  about needing help to go to the toilet
    •  about changes in physical appearance
  • Feelings of regret
    • I should have done more to look after myself
    • I should have spotted it sooner
    • I shouldn’t be leaving my family
    • I should have done more to leave my family financially secure
    • I should have made it up with my brother before this happened
    • I should never have started smoking
    • I made the wrong choices
    • I should have listened
    • I should have told someone
    • I wish I could mend that relationship/healed that hurt
  • Feelings of disbelief
    • this really isn’t happening to me

Your carers and family are often on this roller coaster ride of emotions with you too.  They won’t necessarily feel the same emotions as you at the same time.  For example, you may feel resigned and accept what’s happening to you while your loved ones feel very angry that you are leaving them.

Talking about how you’re feeling can be very helpful although it’s not always easy. Take a look in the ‘coping with your feelings’ part of the website for tips on talking about dying.

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