Saying Goodbye to a Dying Family Member Over the Phone: Conversation Script
This conversation map includes specific phrases to use when helping family members share last words over the phone. You can also download an editable version of this script. Developed by VitalTalk.
Clinician: I’m one of the doctors on the team. I’m here to walk you through this.
Family: Wow. I have no idea what to do or what to say.
Clinician: We have the opportunity to make this time special. Do you want to think for a minute?
Family: My mind is blank, honestly.
Clinician: Here are 5 things you might want to say. Just pick the ones that ring true for you.
- Please forgive me.
- I forgive you.
- Thank you.
- I love you.
Do any of those ring true for you?
Family: Maybe I’ll just start with "thank you." Is that ok?
Clinician: I think that is a beautiful thing to say
Family: But can he even hear me?
Clinician: He can probably hear you even if he can’t answer. He’ll recognize your voice.
Family: Ok. I’ll do thank you, and see where it goes from there.
Clinician: If my [daughter] were saying that to me, I would feel so valued and so touched.
Clinician: You can start whenever you’re ready. I have the phone right next to his ear.
Family: Hey dad it’s me…
Family: I think I’ve said everything
Clinician: It was so loving. I felt privileged to be part of it. How are you doing?
Family: Oh thank you.
Clinician: I can see that he meant so much to you.
Family: He was an amazing man. I am going to miss him.
Clinician: Can you stay on the line for a minute? I just want to check on how you are doing.