What is Anticipatory Grief?

A-Los-Angeles-palliative-care-team-explains-anticipatory-grief-and-how-to-manage-them

It is possible to experience grief before someone has died. What exactly is meant by this? This common phenomenon is known as anticipatory grief, where you know that a loved one’s death is near and you are experiencing the pain of the loss before it has happened. You will begin to face and imagine the impending reality that the person in question will be permanently absent. It is one of the most tragic and overwhelming events one can experience in their life. What else can our Los Angeles hospice and palliative care teach you about it?

Signs of anticipatory grief include:

Sadness.

This is a natural reaction to learning that a loved one’s death is approaching due to an uncurable illness. 

Guilt.

You may feel like you have not tried hard enough to support your dying relative, even if you genuinely did everything you could as a caretaker. You may even look back on an experience you had had with this individual, wishing you had alternative interactions with them when you disagreed with them, or perhaps even wish you had a better relationship with them overall.

Becoming more easily distracted.

When dealing with overwhelming feelings, it’s easy to become more forgetful than usual. You may unintentionally neglect chores or constantly lose essential items as a result.

Feeling hopeless about the future.

You may feel lost in how to navigate the rest of your life without the person in question. You may feel hopeless about other aspects of your life outside your relationship with the person, including long-term career goals or relationships with others.

So how can we help relatives of Los Angeles hospice patients deal with their anticipatory grief healthily?  

 Do not ignore your feelings. 

You may feel obliged to bottle up your emotions to avoid unpleasant responses or interactions with other people. You may fear being judged or fear that others won’t understand what you are going through. It is crucial to allow close family members and friends to know how you are feeling because not doing so harms your health.

Practice self-care to help with your mood.

Although you will not be able to completely eliminate your feelings of grief, maintaining a healthy routine is key to preventing you from feeling even worse. Remember to stick to a healthy diet, exercise daily, and bathe or shower frequently.

Seek psychotherapy or another form of mental health care.

You can call your insurance company for in-network referrals or search online for therapists in your area who specialize in grief counseling. Grief support is also provided at no charge by hospice. This is especially important to do if you feel yourself losing motivation in your daily life due to your anticipatory grief. A therapist or psychologist will be able to provide you with tools to manage your grief constructively so that you can begin to rebuild your life once again. If a counselor isn’t a good fit for you, you can always move on to another one. 

Do you have a relative in need of Los Angeles palliative care?

At Faith and Hope Hospice Care, we are committed to achieving our patients’ highest well-being. We believe every senior is entitled to a happy and healthy end of life in Los Angeles hospice care. We ensure this our goals are achieved in our Circle of Care, which includes excellence, dignity & compassion, education, joy, and community. Please call us at (877) 797-1977 or email us at info@faithandhopehospice.com.