top of page
  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

How End of Life Planning and Support Can Help Reduce Your Fear of Death

By JoAnna Brown of Near. Near offers end of life navigation and grief support for patients, families, and caregivers.

End of life is something nobody wants to talk about, because let’s be honest, no one wants to experience it. Whether you’re the patient or the caregiver, the end of life transition can be chaotic and complicated, filled with big and constantly-changing emotions.

In addition to the fear, uncertainty, exhaustion, and grief, there’s also a mountain of logistics to work through, from advance care planning to after death preparation. All the medical, legal, and financial tasks can feel intimidating and overwhelming. The mental and emotional toll is highest, just as personal bandwidth is low.

This is where seeking the services of an End of Life Navigator can make all the difference. These experienced, compassionate guides help replace overwhelm with clarity, and confusion with comfort. Navigators come alongside patients, families, and caregivers as they figure out all the planning, logistics, and next steps of the dying process.

Whether you choose to work with a Navigator or a trusted friend or family member, here are some things to think about as you create and carry out your end of life plans.

Cast a Vision

There are important conversations that need to take place during the end of life season. These discussions give the person dying an opportunity to honestly and directly communicate their vision and desires for their final days and beyond. As hard and painful as they may be, vision conversations can help you and your loved ones approach death with love and meaning instead of fear and anxiety.

Make a Clear Advance Care Plan

Advance care planning involves making decisions about the care you want to receive in the event of a medical crisis. Each individual should make these decisions based on their own personal values, preferences, and candid discussions with loved ones.

Make a Clear After Death Care Plan

When it comes to planning out what will happen after death, it’s important to once again ensure that the individual’s wishes align with their goals and values, and that they are communicated clearly to all parties involved. This gives loved ones the gift of a clear plan in the midst of their grief, and simplifies the overwhelming logistical and legal tasks that come along with the end of life.

Leave a Lasting Legacy

What do you want to leave behind for future generations? If you can, put some time and intention into creating an expression of love, remembrance, or inspiration for the people you love for years to come. Some examples include milestone notes, letters to children or loved ones, life interviews, audio or video recordings, photo projects, slideshows, cookbooks, letters to the future, or a work of art. Legacies convey what we want remaining and future generations to know and understand about our life experiences.

Don’t Neglect the Details

In addition to grief, most family members and caretakers are left to figure out passwords, hunt down insurance policies, and search for important paperwork when their loved one passes. Once again, you can give your loved ones an amazing gift by creating a Life Details Folder compiling important information in one place, removing all the guesswork, and reducing overwhelm and stress.

Reach Out For Grief Support Before and After Loss

Facing loss at each stage gives patients and caregivers a chance to heal and find meaning. Grief and loss play a role in our experience long before someone we love dies, and by addressing loss along the way (loss of identity due to illness, a job, relationship roles, health, mobility, assumptions about the future, etc.) we can heal, experience deeper relationships, and ultimately a more meaning-filled life.


About Near

Near provides personalized, one-on-one End of Life Navigation for patients and caregivers. After a free meeting with a member of their Care Team, you can select a customized plan to make your end of life experience less stressful and more meaningful so you can live your life well, even as it’s ending.

Near’s Care Plans include one-on-one support that includes everything from advance directives, health care poA/proxy, vigil planning, and weekly check-in meetings with your Navigator. They help you with all the details, offering extra support and guidance, so you can focus on what matters most.

To learn more about End of Life Navigation services, visit

& be sure to follow them at @staynearco on FB, IG, and Twitter



Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month


Restorative Yoga:

The secret Garden

April 22,  6:00 p.m. ET


Qi Gong

April 23,  11:30 a.m. ET


Art Therapy

May 6, 6:00 p.m. ET


Forest Bathing

May 7,  6:00 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

May 13,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

May 14, 11:30 a.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

May 14,  6:00 p.m. ET


Más eventos en español


Upcoming Events


Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico