There comes a time to say good-bye. Letting go is one of the most powerful expressions of faith and greatest parting gifts you can offer your dying loved one. The words uttered allow you to give up control (and many hours of care giving), trusting instead in God's love. Your words also offer your loved one the comfort of knowing that you trust in God so that he can draw strength from your faith and assurance.
Saying good-bye can be painful, but the pain is intensified if the process is entered with the illusion that moments after saying good-bye, your loved one will immediately die. Sometimes, the words first spoken do invite a relaxation response, but the final breath may be hours or even days later. More often, the act of saying good-bye is repeated in part, in different forms and by different people over and over. The repetition itself reminds your loved one of God's steadfastness and the promise that God neither slumbers nor sleeps but keeps constant watch over us until the moment of death.
Remember you will likely repeat these acts in different forms many times. Hearing the words over and over creates a foundation of trust so that your loved one can feel secure in letting go. If visitors come and do not know what to say, suggest reading this page for guidance. Hearing permission from different people is reassuring to your dying loved one.