Along with the physical changes taking place are the interrelated emotional & spiritual changes. The dying person begins the final process of release from the body, the environment and all attachments. This release follows its own path which may include the resolution of any unfinished practical issues as well as reception from loved ones to 'let go'. Supporting and encouraging this release and transition is the most helpful thing you can offer your loved one. 


The person may seem unresponsive, withdrawn or in a comatose-like state. They may also only want a few or even one person around. This indicates preparation for release, a detaching from surroundings and relationships and a beginning of letting go. Since hearing remains to the end speak to your loved one in a normal tone, identify yourself, hold their hand and say whatever you need to help them let go.

Vision-like experiences

The person may have visions. These experiences are normal and common. Dont contradict or argue about what they claim to have seen or heard. If they frighten your loved one explain they are normal.


The person may seem restless and perform repetitive tasks which could indicate something unresolved or a fear of letting go. Recalling a favorite place, a favorite experience, reading something, and giving assurances it's ok to let go, can all help to calm the person.

permission to let go

Giving permission for your loved one to let go can be very difficult. A dying person will often try to hold on even if its uncomfortable in order to be sure that those who will be left behind will be ok. Letting your loved one know that you are ok and that they can let go whenever they are ready can bring them a lot of comfort.

saying goodbye

When the person is ready to die and you are able to let go this is the best time to say good-bye. It may be comforting to gently hold their hand and simply say 'i love you' or forgive or thank them for anything left unsaid. Tears are normal and natural, they express your love and help you to let go.