How Do You Cope with Anticipatory Grief?

Woman with terminal illness smiling on her bed

Knowing that your loved one has a terminal illness can be heartbreaking. It’s hard to know what to say or even deal with the grief that you’re feeling. In most cases, relationships between you and your loved one will not change. But if you’re concerned about it, then it’s best to build on your relationship’s strengths. Most people diagnosed with terminal illness wants to receive the same treatment that they used to before everything happened.

But keeping an open mind and being logical about it is difficult. It’s hard to think straight, especially when you know that your loved one is suffering. Coping with anticipatory grief is different than dealing with pain after they passed away. You’ll experience mixed feelings as you find yourself looking for ways to maintain hope while readying yourself to let go. But how do you work with all those emotions?

A deeper understanding of anticipatory grief

Anticipatory grief is the deep sadness that a person often feels during the last days of a person’s life. Both the loved one who’s nearing death and the one who’s dying goes through the same phase. While experiencing grief before death opens a lot of opportunities to bid farewell, grieving beforehand doesn’t shorten the period of mourning before the end of life happens.

Grief is a normal response to loving someone and feeling the loss. Most of the time, emotions can be overwhelming that it’s almost impossible to perform even the simplest of tasks. Remember that it is normal. Seeing your loved one in a hospice care center in Alabama or any other location can be difficult. But organizations like this ensures that patients receive the care and the support they need to live the rest of their lives with respect.

Coping with anticipatory grief

Woman hugging daughter with cancer

The obituaries that you often hear during the burial can be beautiful. But it doesn’t adequately express the emotions that a person experienced before their loved one passed away.

Experiencing grief while your loved one is still alive doesn’t mean you’re already giving up. Instead, you’re only working through all the emotions as you find ways to gain meaning and closure to it. Some people see it as an in-between place where they’re in the middle of letting go and holding on. It’s a stage where they feel that they are betraying their loved ones by thinking of letting them go. But the truth is that it’s possible to experience sadness and joy at the same time. Even more, it’s also possible to live your life while holding on and letting go.

The best way to do it is by allowing yourself to feel the pain while grieving. Anticipatory grief doesn’t revolve around mourning alone. It also deals with all the other losses that accompany someone’s death. It can be the loss of a trusted companion or the loss of your beautiful memories. Denying yourself to feel the pain only prolongs your mourning.

Losing someone is difficult and painful. No one can prepare you for what’s about to happen. That’s why it’s best to spend as much time together as possible. Think of meaningful ways to make you feel that you’re always there for him or her. It’s best to create beautiful memories together instead of remembering how he or she suffered before passing on.

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