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  • Talking to your loved one about their illness



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    Hi I am new to this forum and the situation I am in. My loved one has got a terminal illness and was told he has a few months to live, which is heartbreaking for me. I think he really struggles with his prognosis, and often talks about things we will be able to do, or places we can go together when he gets better and when he starts I really struggle to keep myself from bursting into tears. He also buys a lot of things online which he is not able to use because he is too weak and spends most of the time sleeping. I don't know how to talk to him about these issues. Has anyone had similar experience and can advise please? Thank you in advance. 

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  • David



    Welcome to the Marie Curie community. I am sorry to hear about your loved one’s diagnosis and the experiences you have had lately with their denial around the seriousness of the illness. Some people may find it difficult to admit the reality of their condition and what it means for the future. This can understandably be distressing for loved ones who are already faced with losing someone through a terminal illness, as well as the emotional effects of any caring role they may have too. You said you were looking for help with talking to him. We have a page on our website dedicated to denial in terminal illness – you may find this useful as it has some practical suggestions on how to help someone in denial:


    With all that is going, it is natural to experience feelings of being heartbroken and struggling not to cry. Many people would find themselves undergoing those same difficult emotions if they were in your position too. It is fine to cry, many people find this outlet of emotion helpful and while I realise letting these emotions out is not always easy, it is not a bad thing.


    I hope that others will be able to share insights from their own experiences with you here on the Marie Curie community. If you would find it helpful to talk to someone then the Support Line is also here to offer emotional support as well as practical information. Our Freephone number is 0800 090 2309 or you can contact us via email


    Take care,


    David – Support Line Officer

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