Coping with Serious Illness

 When a loved one receives a diagnosis of a life threatening illness the patient and his or her family may experience pain and grief before the illness has run its course, and, if treatment is unsuccessful, long after the loved one has passed away. Grief is a normal process that everyone goes through, and you should remember that there is no right way to deal with this pain. Each individual experiences grief differently and uniquely, and it can be experienced in many ways – including mentally, physically, socially and emotionally.

The most important thing to remember is that patients and loved ones are not alone, and that there are numerous resources available to help work through the pain that patients may be experiencing: books, websites, hospice groups, support groups, counselors, priests or other religious figures, family and friends. All of these can help patients both acknowledge their feelings and work through them as they deal with this difficult time.

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