Emotional-Spiritual Issues in Serious Illness

Caring for someone with a serious illness brings up a lot of feelings, for the patient and for family members. Big questions come to the fore. You, or your loved one, may wonder about the deeper meaning of life. Your spirituality may be challenged by what lies ahead.  At times you may all feel very lost. At other times, you may feel more alive than you have felt in years. Such is the nature of a serious illness.

Family conflict is, sadly, common at times like this. Old rivalries may reappear. You may need to look deep in your heart to find strength and forgiveness.

Everyone (the patient and family members) may experience an odd feeling of grief, a kind of sadness that comes before an expected loss. You may also struggle to find hope. But rest assured, even in the context of a terminal condition, you will find simple events and activities that bring joy, often on a daily basis.

And at some point, you will be faced with the grief that comes from mourning. It can be very disorienting. There is no set timetable and no “right way” to grieve. Be tender with yourself. And with others. Everyone mourns in their own manner. How you handle it is exactly the right way for you.