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HELP: My sister is dying, I want to see her but she doesn’t want to see anyone, including me.

It can be challenging when a loved one has a short time to live, and they do not wish to see anyone, including you. Dying can feel like extremely difficult work, often causing individuals to turn inwards and withdraw from the world around them. It is vital not to take this distance personally. The best step is to try and understand why you feel compelled to see her. Is it because you want to let her know you love her and support her? If so, the greatest act of love may be to honor her wishes and find alternative ways to offer support. Assisting her immediate family with household tasks or paying closer attention to other surviving family members may be helpful.

Occasionally, individuals feel obligated to visit their loved ones in their final days, or they worry about what others may think if they do not. It’s important to weigh whether visiting your sister against her wishes is worth violating her autonomy and causing unnecessary emotional distress for both of you. Instead, consider other ways to show your love and support for her during this time. Remember, it's about your sister's needs and wishes, not other people's expectations.

Perhaps you want to see her to heal a rift between you both. This is an understandable desire. However, it is essential not to push her against her wishes. If there is more left to say, consider writing a thoughtful letter expressing your thoughts and asking her to read it (read my blog “HELP: I didn’t get to say goodbye to my brother” for prompts).

If you are having trouble navigating your emotions or making sense of it all, as an Integral Master Coach and certified end-of-life doula, I can help you navigate through this challenging time. It's crucial to respect your sister's wishes and make this moment about her; however, it's not necessary to live with negative emotions forever. If you need support, I offer in-person services to residents in nearby communities, such as Carleton Place, Rideau Lakes, Westport, Smith Falls, and Merrickville.

If you find these blogs useful, feel free to reach out or submit any questions you may have.

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