When you are seriously ill with a life-limiting illness or in the last weeks and months of life, you are likely to experience changing feelings and emotions.
These feelings can be difficult to describe, and overwhelming. They are not always easy to understand or cope with. They can affect:
Visit the NHS Inform (UK) website to read about Emotional effects in palliative care
You may experience many emotions including uncertainty, worry, anxiety, loneliness, anger, and sorrow. However, if you can't function you should seek help.
A sense of loss or spiritual pain can create intense feelings. You may never have felt anything like this. Talking with someone loved and trusted is helpful. When you are very ill it can also help you to focus on and appreciate the important things in life. This could be spending time with family and friends. This may be the time to do the things that you have always had planned. Being able to talk about what you are feeling, and your hopes and fears, can be helpful for many people.
Not everyone is comfortable talking about death and dying. Friends and family may:
Family and friends may want to share their emotions with you. This may be difficult for you all.
Information in this section looks at some of these emotional challenges.
Visit the Healthtalk (UK) website to hear about Roller coaster feelings
Download the Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief (UK) guide: Starting a conversation (3.23MB pdf)
Explore additional resources
Last updated 02 August 2021