Saying goodbye to a person who is dying can be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your lifetime. Keep in mind, whether a person is conscious or not, he can still hear what is said while he appears seemingly unaware of his surroundings. According to Geoffrey Lean, when he was in a coma following an accident, he was able to hear every word that was said. Whether or not you think what you are doing and saying to the dying person will matter, it does indeed.


Take the dying person's hands in yours and spend some time just being with him for a while. Stroke his hair and just relax and enjoy being in his presence. With your non-verbal communication, let him know that you love him and that he means a lot to you.


Ask for the person's forgiveness. If there is anything at all that you have done to ever have hurt or upset the dying person, tell him how sincerely sorry that you are for hurting or disappointing him. Do this by first acknowledging what you have done, then tell him that you are genuinely sorry.

Nurse Talking To Couple On Ward

Forgive the dying person for anything that he has ever done to upset or hurt you. Let him know that you do not hold a grudge and that you love him even though he has faults.

Helping hand

Thank him for being such a wonderful part of your life, and let him know how he has made you a better person. Tell him how much you have always appreciated him being there for you.

Caring Hands in Hospital

Tell him that you love him, and always will. Tell him exactly what it is that you love about him, and how his love has positively affected your life.

Woman kissing patient in bed

Ask him if he has anything that he would like for you to do for him -- is capable of communicating -- whether before or after he is gone. Assure him that you will carry out his dying wish and follow through on that wish.

Son Visiting Father in Hospital

Tell your loved one that it is okay for him to go and that you will be okay. Let him know that you will keep living and will remember all of the wonderful times that you had together. Assure him that although you love him dearly and wish that people could live forever, that you do not want him to hang on for you.


  • Be sure that the dying person has a living will if at all possible to insure that his medical wishes will be carried out.