Nayely Gonzalez is a doctoral student at Indiana University Bloomington studying Counseling Psychology. Nayely graduated with her Bachelor's degree from Ripon College in 2016, double majoring in Psychology and English. Her research interests include human sexuality, Latinx mental health, sexual assault prevention strategies among college students, and clinical practice with LGBTQ populations.
They Might Be Thinking:
I am ANXIOUS about what will happen to my family member.
I am SCARED.
I should have done something to prevent this from happening.
This is all my fault.
I can’t believe this is happening.
I can’t imagine my life without this person.
I feel OVERWHELMED and STRESSED.
I am worried about how this is going to impact us financially.
I am concerned about how this will impact other members of my family.
What should I do now?
There’s so much I still want to say/tell this person. I feel like I’m running out of time.
Words That Might Be Encouraging:
I’m sorry this has happened.
It sounds like you really care about [insert family member]. I’m really glad they have you in their life.
I am grateful for you and everything you’re doing for him/her/them.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
It sounds like you’re carrying a lot of guilt. I want you to know that this isn’t your fault.
You’re doing all you can do to help them. They are very lucky to have someone that cares about them as much as you do.
Let me know what I can do for you. I’m here if you want to talk or just need someone to listen to you.
What has this been like for you?
I really admire your courage. You are a very strong/resilient individual and I believe that you will get through this, even though it’s really hard at the moment.
How can we work together to best look after [insert family member]?
It must be difficult to watch your [insert family member] go through this.
Words That Might Be Discouraging:
You should have taken better care of them.
If it’s their time, it’s their time.
It’ll be all right. My [insert family member] went through the same thing and they’re fine now!
Doctors don’t know what they’re talking about anyways!
There is nothing left that you can do.
They will be better off once they’re no longer suffering.
Try not to worry about it. Everything will be fine. You’re overreacting.
Better start planning the funeral.
Try and stay positive.
Cherish the moments you had together.
It’s okay. They’ve lived a long life.
Things could be a lot worse. Be thankful you have your health.
See Personalized Encouragement Recommendations for Someone You Care About