Anticipatory Grief

Anticipatory grief is the process of preparing, both cognitively and emotionally, for the loss of your loved one. It is a normal process of reacting to the impending loss.

What we'd like you to know:

  • Anticipatory grief is grief felt before your loved one dies.
  • Anticipatory grief is normal.
  • AccentCare can help with anticipatory grieving via our ‘Leaving a Legacy’ program, which provides simple yet beautiful ways to process loss and leave tangible mementos.
  • There are many resources offered by both AccentCare and other community support groups to help with this experience.

Understanding Anticipatory Grief

Anticipatory grief occurs when a death is expected, but before it happens. It may be felt by families of people who are dying and by the person dying. This process helps family members prepare emotionally for the loss. It can be a time to take care of unfinished business with your loved one, such as saying “I love you” or “I forgive you.”

Frustration, anger, or sadness are normal feelings that can be present during anticipatory grief.

AccentCare has a team of social workers, chaplains, and music therapists that are ready to guide you in tasks that may be healing for you to complete before the death of your loved one. Supportive counseling can help this process and may incorporate legacy work. The team will support you and your family by explaining things that are happening in a way that is easy to understand and will provide as much information as you would like about what to expect while your loved one is dying.

Our is here to provide emotional support to you – before, during, and after the death of your loved one.

Questions to ask your Hospice Care Team about Anticipatory Grief

  • Tell me about the emotional and mental health support available to me while I am caregiving and/or anticipating my loved one’s changing condition.
  • What does bereavement support look like before my loved one dies?
  • Is there specialized support available for children?
  • What is a legacy project? And, how can I make that meaningful for me in my grief journey?
  • Can you help me connect with community supports? Where is my nearest support group?
  • Please explain the AccentCare Hospice bereavement program.

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