How to Deal with Your Spouse’s Terminal Illness

How to Deal with Your Spouse’s Terminal Illness

How to Deal with Your Spouse’s Terminal Illness

Most couples have dreams of the things that they want to accomplish after retirement. While some couples get to live out their dreams, many couples spend the last months or years dealing with a terminal illness. As the spouse watch their dreams fade, and their bank accounts dwindle, they often suffer in silence. While everyone’s journey is unique, there are some tips you can keep in mind to help you through your spouse’s terminal illness.

Live in the Moment

When your spouse is dying, then each moment becomes more precious than ever before. Marcy Westerling describes the choice that she felt that she had when given the diagnosis of terminal cancer. She says that she could choose to live in her head, helping to write her storyline of the final months or live in her heart, giving herself over to fear of the disease. You and your spouse have the same decision to make. When you are forced to live in the moment, then as a couple, you can choose how you decide to spend your time.

Strive for Acceptance

Acceptance of death comes more natural for some than it does for others. Getting to the point of acceptance often takes time. Talking to a counselor in Orlando about your emotional struggle of helping your spouse accept their death can be very rewarding.

Identify Choices

You and your spouse have many choices of how you will choose to live your last days as a couple. When 90-year-old Norma was given a terminal cancer diagnosis two days after burying her husband Leo, she decided to forego traditional cancer treatments. With the blessings of her doctor, she loaded up an RV and visited many different places with her son and his wife during the final months of her life. The threesome had no plan for their trip. Instead, they chose to live in the moment. That is not the right choice for everyone; however, so be sure to do what feels right for you.

Grief Has no Time Limits

Each person grieves differently, and many spouses experience anticipatory grief. The time during the terminal illness can give the couple a great time for closure, and time to spend together and surrounded by friends while they are both here to enjoy it. Understand that each person grieves differently, so do not try to hide your emotions or feel guilty for having them. Some of the feelings that you may experience unexpectantly include sadness, fear, irritability, anger, and loneliness. Find positive ways to release your emotions. Talking to a counselor in Orlando can often help you find coping skills that work for you during this stressful time.

If doctors have given your spouse a terminal diagnosis, you have the power to choose how you are going to live. Contact Orlando Thrive Therapy as they want to be of assistance.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.