If you become depressed every time someone dies, the depression and stress will shorten your lifespan. One important skill for coping with death is knowing what to say when someone is struggling with dying.

The ideal is to be like to Energizer Bunny on Alkaline batteries. He just keeps going and going and going at full power and then dies suddenly.

For many people, however, dying is a long drawn out process. Cancer and other chronic illnesses can raise a lot of why questions and foster depression.

One of the key coping skills for living a long, healthy, happy life is coping with loved ones dying. What can you say to comfort someone who is having a tough time dying?

We all want to think that our lives mattered and we played our hands well. Presidents worry about the legacy they will leave. For people who believe there is place in heaven waiting for them, the task usually is easy. For other people, emphasizing three points usually helps:

1. You helped many people and touched many lives. Give specific examples. Rearing children is an obvious example, but so is mentoring, great friendships, volunteer work, donating blood, etc. When people are dying, they usually focus on family and relationships as opposed to work. Consequently, contributions to the profession usually don’t resonate except for professors, politicians, and founders.

2. You did honest, needed work. It helped a lot of people and made the world a better place. While there are crooks and shysters, most people’s work made the world a better place and they should take credit for it.

3. You went many places, did many things, and met fascinating people. You heard a lot of music, saw a lot of beauty, and enjoyed life. In short, you lived a full life. (Note: How you word things can make a big difference. If you talk about living fully, an unhelpful "yes-but" inner voice often objects with things they didn't get to do.)

If one of the points doesn’t fit, emphasize the other two.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, The Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 Baby Steps to grow young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs). Visit www.NotAging.com for a free report on anti-aging secrets and a free newsletter with practical anti-aging tips.