"Brave" is one of my favorite Sara Bareilles tunes. With a chorus like this, how can a coach not love it?
"Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave..."
Nearly every week, clients tell me things they wish they'd said or done differently when someone they loved was dying:
My advice for making full use of these "one chance", end-of-life opportunities is two-fold. On the one hand, let the person you love lead. They may be eager to talk about what's on their mind and heart or they may choose to hold their cards close; to go more internal. Remember there is no right or wrong here. Often the closer people get to death, the more "real" they become and the less tolerance they have for small talk or b.s. Let them guide you regarding what they want to talk about...and what they don't. Honor them; meet them; don't push.
On the other hand, if there's something you feel called to ask, share, or explore with them, I encourage you to gently do so; to be brave enough to go there. You may open up a conversation they've been eager to have but didn't know how to, perhaps because they feared burdening or upsetting you. You may offer them words of affirmation, gratitude, memory, love, or reconciliation that make ALL of the difference in their dying experience.
One last thought on a similar note: Don't hold off on making phone calls or sending notes of remembrance, thanksgiving, or "just thinking of you" to those in your life who are facing illness and/or death. You can say a lot or a little...this isn't about your way with words or your handwriting or grammar. The important thing is that you follow Bareilles' advice to "let your words fall out honestly"; that you convey that you care. Trust me when I say the person on the receiving end will appreciate how big your brave is.
"Brave" music video: www.directlyrics.com/sara-bareilles-brave-news.html
Long ago I was an English major. Though some may say my degree has been under-utilized, my love for the written word remains, and sometimes my words turn out okay.