Jump to section:
- The Shock Of Diagnosis
- Living with Illness
- Dying Peacefully Without Regrets
- Information for Family and Friends
For those who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, their family and carers, there is a lot to process and prepare for. Karuna has drawn on over 23 years’ experience in caring for those at the end of their lives, and on trusted traditions of Buddhist wisdom to create these information sheets. It is our heartfelt wish that they will be of benefit.
The Shock of Diagnosis
Learning that you have a life limiting illness or declining health is understandably a very challenging experience, bringing with it great uncertainty and anxiety. It is common to go through a phase of shock and disbelief as your mind tries to come to grips with the enormity of your situation.
We have provided the following information to support you and your family during this uncertain time.
- Dealing with the shock of diagnosis – knowing what to expect and advice on how to respond as you adjust.
- Restoring emotional balance – understanding the emotional impact and advice on how to restore your peace of mind
- Living with grief – recognizing the impacts of grief and how to respond
- Taking control – communicating effectively with your health care team so you understand your illness and treatment options
- Finding courage – moving towards acceptance, facing your fears and building confidence for the journey ahead.
Living with Illness
Life limiting illness can have far reaching impacts on your own life and the lives of family members.
We have provided the following information to help you adjust to the changes that come with illness and to give you more control over the uncertainty you face.
- Living well with illness – understanding how a healthy body, a healthy mind and healthy relationships support well being
Dying Peacefully Without Regrets
While thinking about death is often avoided during life, advancing illness forces you to acknowledge the fragility of your life. Facing death with courage gives you the opportunity to prepare for this natural part of life and gives you the confidence to die peacefully.
We have provided the following information to guide, not only people with life-limiting illness, but those wishing to prepare for and accept the reality of death:
- Rejoicing in your life – broaden your focus to your life’s journey of which your illness journey is only a small part.
- Forgiving yourself and others – information to help you understand the nature of forgiveness and how to let go and move on.
- Making your wishes known – clarify your wishes so that you and your family can communicate openly about the things that are most important as you approach your death.
- Being at peace with your death – readiness for death can be achieved by developing an awareness of your death, knowing how to use that to your advantage and achieving peace with your death.
Information for Family and Friends
Family and friends play a crucial role in supporting someone with a life-limiting illness to live well and die peacefully.
We have provided the following information to assist family and friends in providing practical, emotional and spiritual support during this time.
- Emotional care during illness – how to provide love and security, promote positive self-regard, communicate openly and maintain healthy connections
- Caring at home – information on the support you can draw on when providing care at home
- Well-being for family and friends – understanding how a healthy body, a healthy mind and healthy relationships support well being
- Caring during the dying process – the care you can offer a loved one as they are dying and after death
- Information for extended family and friends – suggestions to assist you in communicating with and supporting someone who is dying and their immediate family
- Planning a funeral – guidance on planning a meaningful ceremony
- How to survive Christmas after the loss of a loved one – practical suggestions for facing grief at Christmas time