By Last Updated: February 27th, 2023

How to Say Goodbye to Someone in Hospice Care

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences that we can go through in life. It can be especially challenging when the person is in hospice care, as their condition may have declined significantly, and there may be limited time to spend with them. Here, we’ll discuss some tips for saying goodbye to someone in hospice care and offer guidance on how to navigate the complex emotions and processes that come with the end of a loved one’s life.

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a specialized type of healthcare that focuses on providing comfort and support to individuals who have a terminal illness and are no longer seeking curative treatment. The primary goal of hospice is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their loved ones, by addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice care is usually provided in the patient’s home, but can also be given in a hospice facility or hospital. A team of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and spiritual advisors, work together to provide comprehensive care and support to patients and their families. Hospice care emphasizes comfort and dignity in the face of advanced illness, and provides a supportive and compassionate environment for individuals facing end-of-life.

Hospice in the News

When news broke that beloved former president, Jimmy Carter, entered hospice care at home at the age of 98, it sparked national conversation about hospice. Carter, the 39th president of the United States, recently had a series of short hospital stays for unspecified medical issues. In a statement released by The Carter Center on Saturday, February 18th, 2023, the family shared that President Carter with the support of his family “decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention.”

Following this update, national news outlets and media pundits compiled resources about hospice care: FAQs, how hospice professionals are trained and certified, along with an outpouring of support for the former president and his family. One important aspect that was—and often is overlooked when discussing hospice care, is how best to be present for loved ones who are facing the end of their lives, and how to say goodbye to them.

How to Say Goodbye

  1. Be present with your loved one: One of the most important things you can do is simply be with your loved one. Talk to them, hold their hand, and be there to listen. It’s important to let them know that you’re there for them and that you care about them.
  2. Share your memories: If you have happy memories of your time together, share them with your loved one. This can be a comforting and meaningful way to connect with them during this difficult time.
  3. Offer comfort and support: Your loved one may be experiencing pain, discomfort, or other symptoms that can make them feel anxious or afraid. Be there to offer comfort and support, and let them know that they’re not alone.
  4. Prepare for their passing: While it may be difficult to think about, it’s important to prepare for your loved one’s passing. This may involve making arrangements for their funeral or cremation, or having discussions with your family about their end-of-life wishes.
  5. Take care of yourself: Saying goodbye to someone in hospice care can be an emotionally and mentally draining experience. It’s important to take care of yourself, too. Make time for self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or simply spending time with friends and family.
Related: What is Grief and Processing Loss

“Culturally, now, we’re really tight around death, and as a result I think people miss out on a lot of the beautiful aspects of the end of life process that can be very helpful for the grieving process, that can be a really beautiful part of transition of life that we don’t get to experience because it’s not in the conversation.” –Chrysta Bell

Opal Cremation is Here For Your Family

Though saying goodbye to a loved one in hospice care is never easy, it can be a little easier with the right support and guidance. If you’re facing the end of a loved one’s life, consider reaching out to Opal Cremation of Southern California for help navigating the complexities that come with the end of life, from paperwork and processes to planning a meaningful memorial or celebration of life befitting your beloved. Our team of experts is here to help ease the burden, stress, and uncertainty of making arrangements for your loved one after they pass

About Opal Cremation

Opal Cremation is honored to serve Southern California through providing service with compassion. Our all-inclusive cremation costs and grief services support our community during challenging times. For more information on how Opal Cremation can help you, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us directly at 1-888-963-2299.

Helpful links:

Hospice Resources
California Department of Aging Institute on Aging

California Hospice and Palliative Care Association

Share This Article