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Lisa believes that caring about someone means that you will preserve their legacy. Celebrate lives well lived.

Preserving Their Legacy

Lisa Maslyk says one of the things that she wishes she would have been able to talk to her mom, Dora, about was how she really felt knowing she had cancer.“I look back on all the time and think, ‘We never really talked about it.’ It was her way to brush it under the rug. She never, ever once said she was scared.

I would like to talk to her about that and how she really felt. She was keeping it inside to protect us.”

Lisa’s experience is not uncommon. When people are told their illness is advancing, they may feel a range of emotions – fear, sadness, disappointment, anger – or they may feel numb.

While Lisa wanted to be able to share with her mom, what was most important was that she was there for her.

Experts at the Canadian Virtual Hospice say the best approach is to be attentive to your loved one, letting them know you’re there and you support them.

“For many, relationships are central to their understanding of meaning and purpose,” according to the Virtual Hospice’s team of experts, who answer Canadian’s questions on palliative care via the Asked and Answered support service.

They advise reminiscing together. “People benefit from believing they’ve passed on something from their lives that may have meaning to others.” You may want to ask if they have stories they want to pass on, or family history or advice for future generations.

And if you didn’t have the opportunity to talk with your loved one specifically about their legacy, it doesn’t mean they haven’t left one. These types of conversations may have taken place in the past. Going through the questions and prompts found at Passages.life may help spark your recollections.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for theirs, too, says Lisa.

“Bringing your memories of them is probably the most wonderful thing you can do. It might bring a tear, it might bring a laugh, but it brings something of that person back… which is everything.”

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