Practical sources of help for people with a terminal diagnosis and those close to them

None of us can really know, until the day it happens to us, how we will react to being told that our illness is terminal and, perhaps, that we have only a short time to live. And none of us want to think of this happening to someone we love, even though we know rationally that there is a good chance that one day it will.

For others, of course, death can come suddenly and without warning. The need to think, talk and plan for death well in advance is covered in other sections of these resources.

If you, or someone dear to you, has received a terminal diagnosis you may be experiencing a whole range of emotions which can include fear, anger or denial; loneliness, depression or despair; or perhaps even guilt, frustration or loss of faith. You may be frightened for yourself or desperately worried for those you are leaving behind. Whatever emotions you are experiencing, you do not have to face things alone: seek help from whatever source works best for you. Family, friends, faith leaders and health care professionals are just some of those who may be able to help.

There are many excellent online resources that offer support with everything from medical concerns and financial worries to spiritual needs and Christian understanding. Some first places to turn are suggested below.

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