KIBI - Karmapa International Buddhist Institute KIBI - Karmapa International Buddhist Institute

How to Help My Mum Who is Dying of Cancer?


November 1, 2013

How to Help My Mum Who is Dying of Cancer?

I believe that when anyone is in this kind of condition – be it cancer or any other form of illness – in these difficult moments, I think there is only one thing that we can provide. In fact, we can provide this, not just during difficult times, but also when things are seemingly alright. What is this thing? Our countless inner qualities.

Now, in this case, providing emotional support is priceless. It is the best – there is nothing of greater value. At such a moment, whatever amazing things we can provide materialistically, will not help at all. At such a moment, power, fame, material wealth doesn’t matter – instead that simple gesture of emotional support goes a long way. It is everything. This is particularly true when it comes from someone whom you know, for it is easier for the recipient to accept.

There are cases, of course, when a stranger gives that kind of support, and this also helps. However, in the case of the person asking the question, I think the best thing you can offer is the time and energy to give emotional support. Even if it is challenging, it may be beneficial for you to appear and express in front of the patient that you are alright; that you are strong and you are confident – confident that everything will be alright – and then of course also express this through verbal and physical gestures.

And then I think there are some cases where the patient may become cured. But even if they don’t, at least they will be able to go through that journey in a much more peaceful manner.

Yes, these are the things that the Buddha dharma can always provide.