Rally Your Circle from the Inside out 

Contributing Writer: Eric Miller, Inheritance of Hope Marketing & Communications Director

You have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Now what? Without question, there are many layers, and it can be a stunningly difficult situation to digest.

Family dynamics rise to the surface. Does your family already communicate well? Are you a touchy-feely family that inherently supports one another? Or does your family internalize their emotions and remain secluded? Has the diagnosis fractured family bonds?

Often times, a terminal diagnosis magnifies pre-existing family dynamics.
As leaders in legacy development, Inheritance of Hope has seen first-hand how families communicate (or don’t communicate) during the challenging time of a parent’s terminal illness. Based on what we know, here are a few thoughts to consider.

Start with the inside layers. A strong support network is a key component to successfully navigating the uncertainty of a terminal diagnosis. Rally your closest family and friends as soon as possible. The only thing that is certain in this journey is the uncertainty. Whether it’s medical appointments or unexpected hospital visits, “things” will surface where you’ll need help. Your closest family and friends will want to help. It’s your job to communicate your needs and appreciation.

It’s the responsibility of close family and friends to listen and be present. Often times, loved ones do not know what to do for the diagnosed family, so they do nothing. It’s too common that families affected by terminal illness feel isolated. Family and friends, please resist the potential awkwardness and sadness. Don’t stay away. Be present and listen often.