Have you ever known someone who is dying? Not has died, but that spent a period of time that there was nothing more to be done, possibly with hospice care.
You probably don't know what you are supposed to do, you don't know how to be there for them, maybe sending a card is best. You spend some time looking through the card aisle in the store, to find that 'Get Well Soon' seems to be your only option. This person is never getting better and the best sentiment you can manage is something like "I hope you die with as little suffering as possible". Not exactly a Hallmark moment.
Avoid the 'Get Well Soon' card, they are not getting better, ever. I knew a woman who was released from the hospital in hospice so she could die at home. She was unconscious and had been for days, she was never recovering. I saw a person comment on Facebook that she was going to rally. I still wince thinking about it, this was not the message her family needed as they were coming to terms with letting, this woman who was only in her 40's, go. A message like this is only painful for the family.
So what do you do? Go to the blank card section of the card aisle, grab one you think this person will like. Sit down and write about what they meant to you, how they changed your life, how you are a better person because of them. If this feels overly sappy, remember that you don't have much time to convey these messages. This is a situation that you need to think about if you will regret not doing it.
Writing a card with a memory or a testimony of what an impact they had on your life is part of a legacy project, even if their planned legacy project is vastly different. You are giving them something tangible to review in the hours of downtime. Reviewing the good things that have happened in their lives and reflecting on the impact they have made on the world is going to be the best gift you can give as they die, as well as their family after that person has died.
Can you imagine a greeting card for someone in hospice?
My name is Abby, my life has been touched many times by loss and grief. This life has led me to helping others navigate their own grief. I have become a INELDA trained End Of Life Doula and a hospice volunteer. I am not a professional counselor or psychologist and all advice given should be treated as advice from a friend.