Death and Dying: What To Say–Part One
Want to know what to say to someone who is dying?

Here’s advice about death and dying from “Final Conversations” by Maureen P. Keely, Ph.D. and Julie M Yingling, Ph.D.

(We really like this book, even the  subtitle:  “Helping The Living And The Dying Talk To Each Other.” If you have a loved one who is dying, get yourself a copy.)

One.  Start with small talk before you get to the big messages.  This is important because everyday talk–small talk–is what keeps relationships going.

Two.  Your loved one may need everyday talk and reminiscences for their own closure, peace, and acceptance.  Death is a part of everyday life.  Be true to the beauty of the relationship that you have created as long as it endures, and cherish its memory beyond the failure of the body.

Three.  Release the power that your anger and resentment—let go of your baggage with the dying.

Four.  Be prepared for negativity.  The dying don’t become angels just because they are at the death’s doorstep.  But, if necessary, set some boundaries to protect yourself.

Five. Forgive.  This decision is the most powerful one you can make in the face of hurt and pain.  Forgive the dying so they can let go; forgive them so you can move on.

Seven. Don’t hesitate to work with a grief counselor.

Adapted and excerpted from “Final Conversations: Helping The Living And The Dying Talk To Each Other”  by Maureen P. Keely, Ph.D. and Julie M Yingling, Ph.D.

You can say kind words with flowers.


Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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