Don't Retract Pack

Tasks to Do If You Have a Terminal Illness

There were an estimated 1.4 million people in hospice care in 2015 in the United States, according to the CDC. And, according to the National Cancer Institute, for every 100,000 people, 163.5 people die of cancer in the United States each year based on data taken between 2011-2015.

No matter how much you may want to deny it—death is coming for all of us eventually. The best thing to do is to find your own ways of making peace with it, make a positive change, and try to live in the present moment. Here are four ways to work through it.

1. See a therapist.

Living in New York City can be enough of a struggle as it is. It's almost imaginable to think about living in New York and dealing with a terminal illness. While you may be tempted to live with your problems given your limited time, there is never time to take your mental health lightly. As you’re dealing with life transitions, it’s important to have a therapist around to help you cope. By finding an NYC therapist you can find professional help that'll get you in the right state of mind to enjoy the remainder of your life.

The trained therapists living in New York City and working for the Therapy Group of NYC are prepared to help you with all the mental health challenges that tend to come with the end of our lives. These mental health counselors are also ready to create a safe space to help you deal with any other mental health care issue you may have been avoiding such as the goal of greater self-awareness, couples therapy, unresolved issues with a family member, life transitions, sexual abuse, substance use, hurtful past experiences, and low self-esteem. Finding the right therapist can truly be key to living your last days with peace of mind.

While it can take a few sessions to get a sense of the right “fit” with a new therapist or psychologist, you should leave the first session feeling heard by your therapist. If you’re unable to afford the costs of being one of the new clients in New York City, consider looking into an in-network therapist that may be included in your insurance plan.

2. Consider cremation.

According to a 2016 article in TIME, traditional burial is becoming a thing of the past. They found that the cremation rate was 49 percent in the U.S. compared to the National Funeral Directors Association’s burial rate which was at 45 percent. Not only is cremation becoming more popular, but it’s also, generally, a more cost-effective way of dealing with human remains.

While it may not be pleasant to think about, consider looking into a crematorium that can offer the type of funeral service that best fits your wishes. Not only will this guarantee that the funeral home that takes care of your memorial service follows your wishes, but it saves your loved ones the painful experience of making plans after you’re gone. With Heritage Cremation Provider you will receive assistance from a funeral director that understands the ins and outs of the cremation process and can guide you in making decisions regarding what you wish to be done with your human remains and what your wishes are regarding a memorial service.

This wonderful, budget-friendly funeral home also provides rental caskets for presenting the body for the funeral service before cremation. The funeral home will take care of all the cremation process after the service and then put your remains where you wish (in an urn or mausoleum, for example).

3. Make end-of-life decisions.

Thinking about your death can be terrifying, to say the least. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Statista, 11 percent of people said that they were “very afraid of death.” This fact, however, doesn’t get you out of handling your will. Not only is it important to plan your funeral service, but it’s also vital to get in touch with your lawyer and make out a will, make decisions about how you would like to pass (do not resuscitate (DNR) forms, pain management, etc.), and pick the right person for your power of attorney.

4. Find what matters to you and do it.

In an article published in Psychology Today in 2018, Dr. Cortney S. Warren shared a blog post written by her mother, Dr. Karen J. Warren, after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Karen Warren wrote seven questions to confront when you’re dying. Perhaps, the most important being — “what do I want?” and “what really matters?”

By addressing these questions, she found a way to live her remaining days doing the things she loved, and she found what gave her life meaning. By the end of the blog post, Karen is actually optimistic about dying because she got a chance to resolve issues in her relationships, prepare herself, and, in her words, "[live] fully in the present."

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