What to say to a dying relative?

Terminal illness confronts you and the person dying with a limited amount of time for discussions.  So it’s an opportunity to talk openly and honestly with each other and say everything you feel you need too.

What you say will be personal to you and depend on the relationship you have, so everyone’s experience will be different. You should do what feels natural to you. If at any time you need support, talk to the Hospiscare team.

The following are a few suggestions that you might find helpful;

  • Talk about how you feel about each other
  • Share memories and happy times
  • Don’t put off saying things which are important to you
  • Surround yourselves with the things you love (music, photos, home comforts)
  • Listen to one another
  • Talk about the future without one another, if you feel comfortable to do so
  • If you don't know what to say, just being together is often all it takes 

The Hospiscare team are here for you at this difficult time.  If you have any questions, please ask us.


For more information about the physical changes that occur during the dying process, click here