One of the most devastating losses anyone can suffer is the loss of a father. After a lifetime of memories, the time will come that your father may encounter a moment that they are needing your support when a dire prognosis or grief occurs.
Thinking of how to support your ailing father can be very heartbreaking and intimidating. These are intimate and personal conversations, and not knowing where to begin and what to say can be normal. The most important thing is to speak from the heart with kindness, love, and compassion.
So, what exactly should you say to your ailing father? The mere thought can be unbearable, but here’s what you can do:
Let Your Father Take the Lead
A conversation about one’s imminent passing is never easy, let alone that of your father’s. You should let your father take the lead in the conversation to say what’s on his mind. He may avoid talking about it, or it may become an opportunity for a good heart-to-heart conversation. They may talk about their illness or their future absence. Ask about how he’s feeling or any concerns. Allow him to feel those emotions without judgement. If he does speak about it, just let him know that you’re there for him when he is ready.
Address Any Unfinished Business
Family dynamics can be complicated. Past grievances and unresolved issues can cause resentment. Being open and transparent with your father allows vulnerability to address those emotions. Regardless if they respond positively or negatively, making amends may strengthen the bridge to be restored.
If it’s your father who did you wrong, they may seek forgiveness from you. It’s also possible that he’ll never speak up regarding his past actions or inactions. Seeking counseling or self-help books about forgiveness can be a useful guide to understand how forgiveness impacts your life and choices made thereafter.
Remember to Say “Thank You”
People feel better when they know and realize that their life mattered. With this in mind, take the time to thank your father for everything. These could range from the things he did for you, the valuable lessons you learned from him, and even the experiences you shared.
Use this time to share memories. You should also ask him to share some of his most memorable moments. You can also ask him about what he wants to be remembered for or the final pieces of advice he wants to leave behind. These conversations can be a reminder of a good life that’s well-lived.
Remember to Say “I Love You”
Saying affirming words means so much to people, and it also applies to your ailing father. If saying “I love you” isn’t practiced in your family, find ways to show this affection.Your father will appreciate it the piece of mind that comes with knowing his fruitful life will be remembered.
Your father is a significant and vital human being, so remember to take care of him, especially in his final moments. Talk with him and say what needs to be said while time is on your side. Make sure to keep this guide in mind as you do.
Golden Rule Hospice is one of the leaders in hospice care in Atlanta. We are committed to compassion and warmth, ensuring that your loved ones feel safe right at home. For the best home care for your loved one, don’t hesitate to call us at (470) 395-6567 and allow us to help you.