Even when children aren’t involved, dealing with a terminal illness is a difficult and trying time for any couple. No bride who swears to love ‘til death do her part actually imagines the day that death might become a problem. With the cold reality of it intruding on any marriage, emotions are sure to run high. Without proper care, the overall experience can easily mar a relationship of otherwise happy memories.
Most people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness go through a series of understandable emotional responses not unlike the more famous stages of grief. Shock and disbelief is the first, knee-jerk reaction. As a coping mechanism, most people then turn to denial, refusing to believe the reality of the situation while they process this new and awful information. It can be a frustrating stage and can linger longer than most others. With acceptance of the situation often comes anger, hand in hand with a very real fear. Typically, dying people will not only fear for what lies in their future, but what will happen to loved ones after they’re gone.
Typical reactions of a spouse with Terminal Illness:
It’s important to note that while the spouse of a terminally ill patient is not actually dying themselves, they will go through many of the same emotional stages as the patient. Layer all of these complex worries on top of guilt and sometimes even a bit of relief and you have an emotional pressure cooker just waiting the explode. The additional stress of often being forced into the role of caretaker is another factor in the spouse’s journey that can add complications. Often, spouses assume that they are somehow being selfish in having an emotional reaction to the situation because it shouldn’t be about them. In reality, this is a situation best dealt with both together and with other professionals.
Dealing with a spouse who has a terminal illness is the emotional experience of trying to cope with the reality of prematurely losing your spouse due to an unexpected and ultimately fatal disease. Here at GoMentor.com, we have listed professionals who understand that facing a terminal disease is a process best dealt with together. Understanding and experienced professionals coupled with our online resources can make the whole experience a little less scarring. Together, we can help you achieve not only the best possible death bed experience for your loved one, but help you navigate through the emotional minefield that might be left in the wake of such a traumatic event.