How To Manage Your Thoughts and Feelings About Your Partner Dying From Cancer 1


Being told your partner is not going to recover from cancer is incredibly difficult. You may be overwhelmed by all sorts of thoughts and feelings and fears about your partner dying.   

Managing your thoughts and feelings about your partner dying. 

There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. When you find out someone you love is likely to die soon some of the emotions you felt when you first found out about their diagnosis may come back. You may also experience new emotions, like hopelessness or despair or intense anger (with your partner, the treatment team, the world, God …). 

All of these reactions and feelings are normal, but you will soon realise that they don’t help much and won’t change the situation.  

Some people experience what’s called “anticipatory grief” - grief you feel when you are expecting the death of someone close to you. You may feel sad, anxious and worried about what life might be like after they die and how you will cope without them.  It’s important to get a handle on your grief so you can make the most of the time you have with your partner. 

It can help to focus on the fact that knowing your partner may die soon gives you, your children and friends time to prepare for their death, to say what they want to say and to make memories.  

Get support 

This is a sad time and difficult issue to cope with. Give yourself some time and space to work through your thoughts and feelings. It might help to talk to a friend, or check in to our online parent community to see how other people in your situation have managed.  

On top of dealing with your own feelings about your partner dying, you may have to talk to your children or other people about it. This can be difficult and add to your distress.  

If you need support, talk to your GP, the social worker at the hospital or call CanTeen on 1800 835 932.

For a full list of Parenting through Cancer resources click here