Chapter 2: Grieving before a medically assisted death

Knowing the date and time

I've been there
Honor speaks about MAID and grief.(3:22)Video transcript
Don shares about how death is a personally-defined thing.(3:22)Video transcript
Anna-Maria shares about the countdown to Jim's death and saying goodbye through a series of 'lasts'.(3:22)Video transcript
What the palliative care & MAID provider says
Dr. Wiebe speaks about MAID and being present at the time of death.(3:22)Video transcript
Dr. Wiebe speaks about how knowing the date and time of a loved one's death can bring a sense of certainty for loved ones.(3:22)Video transcript
What the grief expert says
Marney speaks about how there is an awareness of 'last moments' and intentional goodbyes when people know the date and time of their death.(3:22)Video transcript

The countdown of the last days and hours was the hardest. It was a series of last things.

I said to him in the last week, you have seven days and seven favourite meals, you can have whatever you want. Every day we would have a celebratory meal and enjoy our time together… he told me his life story from beginning to end.

Knowing when the end would come, we knew we needed to say and do things before that time. We knew time was running out. But we knew it was also okay to cry, to not say everything or not say anything.

Many people report that having known the exact date and approximate time that the person would die is a surreal feeling. This goes beyond having general knowledge that someone is near death, and you may have struggled with this information.

Click on the arrows below to reveal feelings you may have experienced:

What may help

Remember that the person didn’t choose to die; they chose to end their suffering and gain some control over their situation by selecting a date and time to die.

Look for someone who can offer you support. This might be a close friend or other family member, a faith leader, your healthcare provider, or a counsellor.