Often a time comes in a patient's journey when it seems all that can be done has been done. There can be a sense of coming to peace or acceptance about the dying process. This is not 'giving up' but a coming to terms with the reality of death. For some, this might not come until the last hours or minutes.
Suggestions:Tell the patient that it is OK to go when he is ready. Offering 'Thank you,' 'I love you,' 'Forgive me,' and 'I forgive you' can inform the patient that you notice the change and support him during the dying process.
Life can change in many ways when you or a loved one is given a terminal diagnosis. Spiritually, you might find yourself turning more often to your beliefs to help you cope, or you may begin to question your beliefs. Both of these reactions are normal as you try to reorient your life during this crisis. You are entitled to question and to doubt. Your spiritual beliefs and outlook can change dramatically throughout life as you mature and have new experiences. A crisis, though unfortunate, can be a normal part of this process, a time to reexamine your beliefs and seek deeper insights into life.
It has been said that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. Rather, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. As such, spirituality means different things to different people and should not be confused with religiosity. One's spirituality can be rooted in firm religious beliefs and practices, but all persons are spiritual, with or without any particular religious claim.
Spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation and worship, can help to calm and restore you during times of extreme stress. Familiar rituals, religious or otherwise, can be comforting. They can give you a sense of attachment to family, ancestors, your spiritual community and God, in a time when you may be feeling lonely and isolated.
Many find it helpful to validate his or her life experience by doing a life review, reflecting with loved ones, clergy, counselors or friends about particular moments in his or her life. Some set goals of things that they wish to accomplish in their remaining time while others find it helpful to contemplate an afterlife, which many include reunion with loved ones who are deceased.