My children would like to make a "get well soon" card for a family member. However, this person is terminally ill. What's an alternative message that conveys a similar sentiment?
As no one else has suggested it:
'Thinking of you' - lets them know they are in your thoughts.
'Hello!' - simply let someone know you're ready to be there for them, when they need you.
'Pretty picture' - literally something pretty the children have made, as with all of these it shows you and the children have spent some time thinking of the person.
As a cancer survivor, who was looking death in the face, I can tell you that the most valuable thing for me was friendship. Ask your children to make a card expressing what a great friend and companion this family member is and how great it is to have them in your life.
A "We love you!" card is great. It's honest, direct, and it doesn't rub the terminal condition into the person's face.
Whatever you do, be in the moment, because that's where the patient/person should be. Share the sadness (if she's sad), share the pain (if she's in pain.) Don't be afraid to be funny if something funny has happened that you want to share. Be there for her emotionally.
Good luck. It's hard to know what to say to someone who is terminally ill. Just being there to share the experience is valuable.
I've taken care of terminal patients. In my first year of residency, I had to spend most of my hours in the hospital, and could visit with my dying patients when I wasn't busy. One patient just wanted me to hold his hand and tell him things we were going to do when he got out (he never did). Another wanted me to lie down on her bed with her and let her express her fears (terribly unprofessional, but I just closed the door and climbed in, we would lie shoulder to shoulder and talk.) I took my cues from my patients. The wife of the hand-holder sent me a beautiful card after his death.
Maybe a "thank you" for the joy they've brought to your life, including "best wishes" for making the most of the time they have left, or "blessings" if the recipient follows a religion.
All of us (human readers) are going to die at some point. It's just that some of us can see it coming sooner than others. So you can reflect on the message and its sentiments with some empathy.