When one leaves for the stars, that person will be the one to blink at you in the night-sky and show you the way. While s/he will no longer be able to touch your hands s/he will forever be able to touch your heart.
Karla A. Claeys, M.A

Closely related to the Tasks of Coping with Dying are the five stages of a life-threatening illness. The tasks of coping usually associated with each stage vary from one stage to another.  The connection between the stages and tasks was first proposed by Ken Doka in 1993. Below is a summary of the stages and the common tasks related to that stage:

Coping Tasks
Prediagnostic realizing the possible risks of the illness, managing the associated anxiety and uncertainity, and developing and following through on a strategy to improve one’s health in hopes of getting better
Acute developing strategies to deal with the illness, seeking out and arranging for cures and treatments, trying to understand the disease, etc.
Chronic managing the disease’s symptoms and the side effects of treatment, getting back to as normal a life as possible, trying to manage stress, maximizing social support, etc.
Terminal whether to continue curative treatments or to focus on palliative ones, preparing for death and saying goodbye, and finding meaning in one’s own life and death
Recovery dealing with the aftereffects of the illness and treatment, the anxiety of a possible recurrence of the disease, viewing life differently, and redefining one’s place in the world