Most of us assume that we’ll live until old age and pass away after a full and rewarding life. However, the reality is that a terminal illness diagnosis can happen at any age, and not everyone will be given a chance to live the complete life they had hoped for.

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be one of the most challenging curveballs life can throw your way, and you might not know what you’re supposed to do when you receive such a diagnosis. While everyone’s situations and experiences are different, you might like to take some of the following actions.

Claim Your Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance policy you have, you might now be in a position to receive your policy funds and put them to good use in your final days. Many policies provide a death benefit for beneficiaries, and some also offer lump-sum cash payments for the policyholders.

Your life insurance policy might even come with funeral coverage, which means you don’t have to worry about your loved ones covering the cost of your funeral. This might be one of the first actions you take following your diagnosis to ensure money doesn’t have to be an issue while you enjoy the rest of your life.

Take Time to Accept It

No one knows with any certainty when their life will end, but very few people would picture a deadline being provided for them in a doctor’s office. Depending on how you hear the news, take time for yourself to let it sink in.

You might like to take a short vacation on your own or even visit a local natural attraction to enjoy the peace and alleviate stress. Everyone responds to such news in different ways, so do what feels right to you at the moment.

Learn More About Your Diagnosis

Being told that you’re going to die can be a lot to take in, and the information your doctor tells you after speaking those words may not sink in immediately. In the days after your diagnosis, consider learning as much as possible about your condition so that you can be well-prepared for what to expect.

Some worthwhile information-gathering exercises can include joining support groups, visiting official websites, and making follow-up appointments with medical professionals so that you can ask questions.

Learning about symptoms to expect, palliative care, and medications and treatment options to alleviate pain and discomfort might ensure you’re entering the next phase of your illness with understanding and confidence.

Forgive Yourself

Everyone responds to terminal diagnoses differently. Some people push away their loved ones, while others lash out in anger and rage. However you react, remember that there is no right or wrong way to respond, and you don’t have to carry guilt associated with not handling your situation as well as you thought you should.

Talk Openly

Some people will immediately feel comfortable talking about their situation with friends and family, while others won’t. Give yourself time to process your emotions, but consider how many benefits there can be associated with talking openly about your diagnosis.

You might find it easier to discuss your fears and concerns rather than keeping them bottled up, and your loved ones might also find it easier to process the news with you.

Get Your Affairs in Order

Getting your affairs in order can be one of the most challenging aspects of working through your terminal illness diagnosis. However, it can be necessary to ensure your final days are stress-free for you and your loved ones. Consider prioritizing funeral arrangements, making sure your insurance and will information are in order, and making decisions around pet care, child care, and asset ownership where appropriate.

Live Life to the Fullest

We’re all only on this planet for a short time, so live life to the fullest. While it’s essential to plan for your death when you’re given the opportunity to do so, it shouldn’t be what consumes all your remaining time. Spend valuable time with the people you love, go on family trips, and experience new things. You might then feel at peace knowing you’re leaving this world in a good space.

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be a traumatic experience, especially if you weren’t expecting it. However, you might be better able to manage whatever is thrown your way by taking some of the actions above.