What You Need to Know About Anticipatory Grief

While most people are aware of the grief after cremation services Richland, PA, not many understand what anticipatory grief is. In layman’s terms, anticipatory grief is a set of tumultuous feelings before the imminent death of a loved one.

It can be if they are diagnosed with a terminal illness and doctors have already told them they don’t have much time to live or they are too elderly to live by your side for much time. Unlike what many people believe, these feelings could just as tense as the grief experienced after death. In some cases, the dying person may also feel anticipatory grief knowing that they are leaving their loved ones.

Stages of Anticipatory Grief

Much like conventional grief, anticipatory grief is a long, painful journey that usually consists of three stages.

Initial shock while your mind is processing the reality about the incoming loss. You feel concerned and anxious about the deteriorating health of the beloved.

Denial of the reality. A part of you still believes the loved one is going to heal and spend many more years with you. Here you may experience bouts of anger and a sense of loneliness. Many people are engulfed by guilt and shame as they regret why they couldn’t have had more moments of happiness with the loved ones.

Eventual Acceptance of the reality but sadness and sorrow still haunt you. Here, you continue to imagine how’d you cope with the imminent death or how your life is going to be after the death of the loved one. Despite the acceptance of reality, a part of you is always on constant alert and you feel difficult or, at times, unable to rest.

The feelings of grief and sorrow stem from visualizing your life without the loved one in the near future. You may start fearing being alone and vulnerable, losing your normal routine or social life.

Amongst the turmoil and overwhelming emotions of anticipatory grief, you have an opportunity to serve your loved ones and spend more time in their company.

Signs of Anticipatory Grief

A person going through anticipatory grief bears many of the same symptoms as conventional grief. Though signs may vary from person to person, some common symptoms almost every grieving person experiences are:

  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Desire to talk with friends and family
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Poor concentration and difficulty in completing even the small daily tasks.
  • Emotional numbness
  • Fatigue

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How to Cope with Anticipatory Grief

It’s normal to grieve or be sad when your loved one is going to pass away but it might interfere with your overall being and professional life. That’s why it is necessary to find ways to help combat feelings of depression and anxiety.

You should:

  1. Express your emotions to a close friend or a family member
  2. Improve your diet – eat a nutritious and balanced diet – and sleep well, no matter what. Exercise regularly to stay physically fit.
  3. Do volunteer works and practice love and forgiveness
  4. Spend more time with the loved one
  5. Get professional bereavement support if grief starts to overwhelm you.

Preparing for cremation services Richland, PA, is the first step.