Serious illness can often bring people together but it can also be a time of difficult emotions. Each member of the family will probably look to the person with the illness for guidance on what to talk about.
Expressing your concerns and feelings about what you are going through can be an invitation to family and friends to discuss their concerns. At first people may say things like, “Don’t say that, you’ll be fine” but it is important to continue to express how you are feeling.
It is worth thinking about (or writing down) the name of each person you love and care about, and what you would want them to hear/know if you were to die tomorrow. Also, you might think about what they would like to hear from you. It can be easier to see a need in someone else than in yourself.
If conflict exists within your family or amongst your friends, or open communication has never been easy, it may be worth seeking some help to say the things you want. A pastoral care worker, social worker, counsellor or a member of your church can often help you to work through this. Ask your doctor or palliative care service for more information about who can assist you.