In our latest blog, our editor Imogen looks at ways of coping at the end of life and where to find support and information.

Christmas can be a time of love, support and celebration with family and friends. But this expectation can make it a difficult time of year, especially if you are nearing the end of life.My wife and I have been able to communicate about it. We have to be able to talk about death, dying and cancer and what it means for her future. I just want to know that she will be ok and be supported.

Whether you’ve just been told that the end of life is near or you’ve known for a while, it can be hard to process what’s happening. You may experience strong and often overwhelming emotions that make it difficult for you to think clearly. You may need some time on your own or with your partner, a relative or a close friend to think about the future. Or you might find it easier to talk to someone outside of the situation.

 Getting more information and support

However you choose to cope with the end of life, we’re here to support you.

Macmillan and Marie Curie have teamed up to produce End of life: a guide. It’s a booklet for people in the final stages of life and their carers. It talks about:

  • coping with the news that you may be nearing the end of your life
  • sorting out unfinished business and getting financial help
  • choosing where to be looked afterImage of cover of end of life booklet
  • who can help if you’re being cared for at home
  • what happens after someone has died
  • what might happen in the last few weeks and days of life

Macmillan Cancer Support 

Our expert, up-to-date information is free for everyone. As well as our booklet about the end of life, you or your loved ones might find some others helpful: 

  • Talking about cancer – aimed at helping people with cancer talk about their illness and understand other people's responses.
  • Your life, your choices: plan ahead – a series of booklets explaining how you can plan ahead for your future care. There are different resources for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You can order these booklets by visiting or calling us on 0808 808 00 00. We also provide information in different languages and formats. All of our information is available online at

Macmillan Support Line

Our cancer support specialists can help with questions about end of life and offer you or your loved one emotional support. They can also talk you through the practical side of things.

Our free, confidential phone line is usually open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Our Christmas opening hours are:

  • Open until 5pm on 23 December
  • Closed on 24, 25 and 28 December
  • Open until 5pm on 31 December
  • Closed on 1 January.

Normal opening times will resume on 2 January 2016.

Call us on 0808 808 00 00 or email us via our website at

Marie Curie logo


Marie Curie is a charity that helps people living with any terminal illness, and their families. It offers expert care, guidance and support to help you and your loved ones make the most from the time left.

Marie Curie nurses work night and day in people’s homes across the UK, providing care and emotional support. Their hospices also offer specialist round-the-clock care.

As well as this hands-on care, Marie Curie has an extensive range of information materials available to view online at You can order any printed publications free, by calling 0800 090 2309 or downloading what you need at


To see what else Macmillan's cancer information team has been blogging about, please visit our blog home page! You can subscribe to receive our blogs by email or RSS too.

We're with you every step of the way

The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

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