From Katrinka Kramer
Make sure that everyone in the family knows that this loved one will be passing soon. This will allow for them to say their good-byes.
Sit and talk to your loved one as much as possible. If you have regrets, or need to let him/her know something that you've kept in for years, use this time to let them know. Remember though, if it is something huge (you've been cheating on them for 15 years) it might be best to let it go. You don't want to stress him/her out more than they already are.
Let children in the family visit this loved one, and explain to them what is soon going to happen.
Keep far-away family members posted on the health of your loved one. Communicate through e-mail, telephone, or a social networking site.
Talk to your loved one about death. Ask if he or she is scared. You may be at peace once they're gone, knowing that they weren't scared to go. And if your loved one is scared, help him or her come to terms with their fears.
Start making burial/funeral arrangements. However, unless your loved one asks about it, do not tell them. They may think that you are "doing them in."
Tell your loved one that you will miss them, and say, "I love you" often. Nothing is more important than those three words.
Tell your loved one if you're scared, confused, or sad. They may just tell you some things that ease your mind, and will help with this process a little.
Years from now, it may be the little things that matter, like their favorite color, their favorite dessert, etc. Hold onto these memories!
Make sure you say everything that you want to say. When they're gone, they're gone and you can't bring them back.
Gather family members in the room and talk about old times together. Everyone will have that memory of their loved one smiling and being content, or listening, remembering all of those moments. It will be a peaceful memory to look back on as well: He or she was surrounded by family, that all loved this person very much , and what could be better than having your family there, when they needed you the most?
Take your direction from the loved one - some may want to talk about death, funeral plans, etc., while others do not. Don't presume that you know what they want or need - ASK. This is no time to play guessing games!
Crying is normal and it is better to let it out than keep things bottled up. When the tears come, let them out.
If you're planning on planting a garden or a tree in your yard,as a memory for your loved one, tell him or her before they go.
I would add, for Christians, talk about how wonderful it will be to be in the presence of Jesus!
Great addition! Thanks Kathy.