Someone Is Dying

When someone is dying, there is still time to make and document decisions, handle practical details, and to make peace with unresolved issues and relationships.

Practical Details

On the practical side, there are important issues to take care of while the person is still alive.

  • Do they have a financial power of attorney and a will or a living trust?
  • Are there advance directives for healthcare, a plan for palliative care, and a hospice provider?
  • Have they indicated whether they want their body to be buried or cremated?
  • Have they chosen the final location of their body or cremains (ashes)?
  • Do they have preferences or suggestions regarding their funeral or memorial service?

Emotional Support

While emotional support is important for the person who is dying, it’s equally vital for family members and close friends. In some cases, the person who is dying may come to peace with their situation and feel prepared for the end of their life.

However for family and friends the death is not just an ending, but the beginning of a new stage of life without their loved one. So they can benefit both from immediate emotional support and continuing attention in the weeks and months to come.

Take Action

  • Get Quick Answers to your basic questions, and links more detailed information.
  • Use the Map Tool to record decisions about the practical details. You can print a Decision Summary to document the decisions and share with others.
  • Make Connections with family, friends and service providers who can offer support now and following the death.