Saying goodbye to someone who's terminally ill


Sorry to hear that. I’ve been through it a few times. Both Nan’s, a couple of aunts, an Uncle and a cousin, all to the big C. :frowning:

The worse one was my cousin who passed away 18 months ago, he also had cancer and was told it was terminal and had a few months. He was 30 and had a 3 year old son :frowning:

He lived in Middlesbrough and I’m from London, but I used to go up most years as that’s where my mums side of the family are from.

Anyway a couple of months before he passed Crystal Palace were away to Newcastle, so I got him a ticket, along with his brother my other cousin, and we went to the game. He was weak but really wanted to do it.

We also just spent a week doing stuff, playing pool etc. He was really cheery (an act most probably), considering the circumstances. Didn’t really speak about the cancer that much, was pretty hard leaving to come home to be honest, just a big hug and he told me not to come back and remember the good times.

His son is such a nice kid, every time I go up he just knows me as Uncle Football, although he isn’t actually a nephew. I’m not sure what a son of a cousin actually is. But he never leaves me alone and always wants a kick around, due to that week.


Even just reading this thread has me a little choked.

You’re a good person and I think you’ll know what to do when it comes.


Sad news, pal.

I have never dealt with this but with an aging family I do sometimes think about these things, almost as a way of preparing for when the time comes.

Why not ask her what she would like to do? There may be some very straightforward and everyday things that she would like. It may seem obvious but in my limited experience there can be a natural tendency for family to try to over-compensate in these situations rather than just doing the simple things.


Sorry to hear that

I know this is so crap but I would say something like, I’ll phone you in a few days, speak to you then, just to avoid the sadness. If I felt upset then I’d just cry there with them but say goodbye normally.


Also think it’s good that the kids are going because they will be incapable of not lightening things but in a beautiful and acceptable way


Thank you for the advice. Yeah, it’s really my dad that it’s hitting the hardest - my stepmum is at peace about her situation but it’s all horribly familiar to my dad.

The girls are 7 and 4. I think the oldest has a much clearer idea of what’s going on.


Yeah we’ve been trying to do things as best we can according to her wishes - at first we weren’t sure whether to take the children (as we weren’t sure how they’d handle it) but she was pretty insistent that they should come. Just trying to stay in contact with them without crowding them.


Get some pics with the kids. My mum has a picture of my little sister, who was barely 18 months old at the time, with my nan. It was taken a few weeks before my nan passed away but it has pride of place on the mantlepiece


Kids are great to kill the tension, they can only be ‘sad’ for short periods, also prepare yourself for loads of death questions. As far as advice goes, it is so difficult I would just say what you feel, take photos and remember that it is the life you should celebrate not mourn before it is time, if that makes sense

I will keep you and your family in my prayers x


all of this is familiar, although its coming up to ten years since my grandad died now. my gran died a few years before and i dont have as strong memories of that, maybe coz we were mostly making sure he was ok. i had a stronger bond with him as well i guess. he was a very friendly, funny man, all he wanted before he died was a pie and a pint for his dinner and to be allowed out to smoke a pipe, and the staff let him coz everyone knew he was on his way out. its weird, he had this coffee table that he had made that he wanted me to have but when me and my dad went in to see him he was like listen, this is how you fix the glass top onto it properly, make sure you do it, and i was all oh you can do it when you get out of hospital (in denial i guess) but he went no srsly. anyway its sat in my living room now and its the most beautiful piece of furniture i own but the glass top still isnt fixed on properly. idk what im getting at, i dont have any advice but just wanted to share i guess. i hope everything goes well @colon_closed_bracket and @bird and i hope that it goes “well” for want of a better word. i hope you’re all ok, you know.


Thank you everyone for your advice and support. You’re a good bunch :slight_smile:


I got a call from my dad last night to say that my stepmum had died. So I’m going down this afternoon to be with him and spend the weekend with him.

I just wanted to say that I’m really grateful to you for your advice a couple of weeks ago, a lot of which I put into practice. I have photos and memories and I got to say some of the things I wanted to say, both to my dad and to my stepmum. Plus the girls got to spend one last day with her, and there were far more happy moments than sad ones.

When it comes to something like this, I can rely on you lot to respond with wisdom and compassion. So, thank you very much; it’s really appreciated.


Sorry for your loss, man. Very glad that you all got to have good final moments with her.


Sorry to hear this ccb. Hope you and your family are doing as well as can be expected.


Hell man, :’( xxx


So sorry for your loss, CCB.


So sorry to hear that. I will be thinking of you x


So sorry to hear this CCB, but glad to hear that last weekend went well and that you were able to come away with lots of happy memories. All the best to you and yours