My granny is terminally ill

I have just joined this site as I am struggling with anticipatory grief and didn’t really know where to turn. I have times where I am able to think about other aspects of my life and enjoy a genuine laugh. But then other times I feel so sad and scared about what is to come and the big changes I will face. My family are extremely close, hence why this is going to be a big change for me.
My granny has been battling cancer for a year now and it has recently made a drastic turn for the worse. I am struggling because I want to see her, but selfishly I don’t like seeing her because when I see her, I feel like it is not the same person as she is so riddled with illness. I worry I will break down in tears and I don’t want to upset her. But I am worried I am going to regret it later on, so how can I overcome the worry that I am going to burst in to tears when I see her? and how can I sitop these emotions coming out when I see her?

Dear Liv,

It can be very upsetting to see someone you love battling disease and coming near the end of their life. Anyone on here will understand that you find it hard to cope with your emotions.

You are blessed to be part of a close-knit family, because you should be able to support each other at this difficult time.

Only you can decide if you want to visit your granny or not, but even if you decide to do this, you may not be allowed to because of the Covid restrictions.

If you cannot visit her, do make sure that you communicate with her in other ways and let her know how much you love her, because I think that is important for both you and her. Maybe through phone calls, or cards/letters, small presents - I am sure she would appreciate that very much.

If you can visit her, remember that inside that weak an suffering body is still the same granny that you know and love. For her to sometimes see your tears may not be such a bad thing as you think. When we love someone, it is a natural thing to be upset and cry when we see them suffer.

Recently I spent a lot of time with my mother-in-law before she died of cancer. There were times when she saw my tears, there were also times when I left the room so she would not see my tears. She had quite a few grandchildren and some could visit her, some could not, either because of distance or covid restrictions, but they all kept in touch with her in different ways and I know how much that meant to her. When I handed her the phone if one of them phoned, you could see her face lit up. At the end, she could not say much because she was too sort of breath, but she could still listen.

I hope your granny is still able to talk and to listen. Make the most of the time you have left with her, and just take one day at a time.


Hi Liv,
I think you may regret it if you didn’t see your Grandma.
I watched my mum suffering for 15 days before she died and I have been broken hearted since.
She will expect you to cry and she will too but I’m sure she would get great comfort to see you . Be brave and not scared .

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