Surviving When Your Spouse is Terminally Ill
Finding out your spouse is terminally ill is devastating and totally life-changing. The realization that you will lose the person you love is almost too much to bear, but bear it you must. It might be the toughest time in your life, but you need to be strong for your spouse’s sake and for your own sanity too.
Here are some things that will help you survive and get through this tough time as best you can:
Try to Live in the Moment
I know it’s tough, but instead of focusing more than you absolutely have to in the future and what will happen when you lose your beloved husband or wife, try to live in the moment. Do what you can to enjoy the time you have left with your love and keep the focus on making those last weeks/months/years the most amazing they can be.
Work Towards Acceptance
When you hear that your spouse is terminally ill, it’s natural to go into denial, for complete disbelief to overcome you. I get it – it’s the worst news you could possibly hear and you just can’t or won’t accept it, but here’s the thing, you really need to. In the coming weeks, you’re going to have to deal with your spouse’s health issues and eventual death, and this will be some much easier on you if you have processed it and have started to work towards dealing with it.
Get Professional Help
If your spouse is in a position where you have to care for him or her, you should seek help from palliative nursing professionals and carers, so that you don’t have to do it all yourself, and so you do not associate your last days with your love with administering medication and taking care of their physical needs.
You might also want to consider consulting a professional therapist to help you through your issues. It’s natural to develop some mental or emotional problems when you know that your spouse is going to die, and although a therapist can’t make it all better, they can help you deal with it in a healthier way.
Do Fun Things Together
If your spouse is still able to, then now is the perfect time to take that once in a lifetime trip to a far-flung location, go up in a hot air balloon or throw an amazing party. It might seem frivolous, and you might not exactly feel like having a good time, but it will be good for both of you, and it will ensure that you do have some happiness in those last days and that is really so important.
Although it’s sensible to accept the situation you are in, that doesn’t mean that you should give up hope. There are countless stories of people who are told they’ll only have six months to live and they’re still alive and kicking years down the line, so who knows what will come? Just don’t turn your hope into a belief that the doctors have got it wrong with no evidence – that will only lead to more heartache.
Have you lost a spouse to a terminal illness? How did you deal with it? What got you through?