Finding the words

“What should I say to someone who is dying?” “How do I come up with the words?”

I’ve been asked my opinion on these questions a lot recently. 

We will all get to face painful moments while sitting next to people who are dying. What CAN we say?  There are no magic words to keep loved ones here with us.

I read something very touching yesterday. Doctors told a mother that it was only a matter of time before her son, who had been battling a disease for a few years, would pass away. Soon thereafter, the boy asked his mother if he is dying.

As horrific as that situation would be she answered him honestly with, “yes, you are going to die”. Then she put on her brave face and told him these three loving phrases:

“You will not be alone.”

“You will not feel pain.”

“We will be ok.”

After her beautiful son passed and she was experiencing the excruciating pain, she repeated the three phrases to herself:

“You will not be alone.”

“You will not feel pain.”

“We will be okay.”

Saying this she could feel herself caught up in the arms of her child. As she continued to speak saying, “Now, I am not alone”, she could feel her son all around her. Then, the pain eased and she knew that she would be okay.

This is the beauty of these Three Magic Phrases. Dying people live on as long as we remember them, and repeating the phrases we have said to them is a straightforward and powerful connection. Our loved ones catch us, daily, and keep us going. And in turn, when it’s our time, I hold onto hope that we too will find comfort in these beautiful words.


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