The 4 Main Wishes of the Dying

Even though someone dying of Alzheimer's may not be able to speak much or form coherent thoughts, it's important to know that regardless of the cause, dying people tend to want to express four main kinds of thoughts, according to Ira Byock, a medical doctor who writes and speaks about what makes a "good death."

These are:

  • I love you.

  • Thank you.

  • I forgive you.

  • Forgive me.

Some dementia caregivers gain peace by discussing these concepts, from their own perspectives, with their loved ones (even if it's in monologue).


Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio