End of life

Emotions and sharing your thoughts

Coming to the end of life is a normal part of long-term lung disease. It is common to experience a variety of emotions.

This is true not just for the person directly affected, but their family and friends too.

We know from research and people’s personal stories that feelings can range from anger, despair, denial, bargaining, fear and anxiety to peace, acceptance and tranquillity. We don’t all feel the same way – you might experience lots of different emotions at different times.

What can you do?

Everybody has their own way of coping with emotions throughout life. Many people tell us that talking and sharing their feelings and emotions helps. Talking can help to identify what matters most to you, what your usual coping mechanisms are, and what future decisions you might need to make about future medical care.

You might find it helpful to talk to family and friends. Or you might prefer to talk to a doctor, nurse, social worker or counsellor, someone you know and trust. You might like to talk in depth, to talk a little or not at all.

If you don’t like to talk about these things, you might want to express yourself in a different way. You could write a diary, blog, story or letter, record a message or share time with family and friends. The important thing is to identify what helps you most.

Next: Talking to children and young people >

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Last medically reviewed: March 2015. Due for review: March 2018

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.