Anticipatory Grief

This kind of grief is how you might feel
as you watch your loved one dying.
They might be on Hospice.
Perhaps they are slowly leaving through dementia.

You know what’s coming.
You just don’t know when.

You have time to prepare
and absorb the loss.

It can be an exhausting period .
It is easy to lose your identity
as you take on the role of caregiver.

Sometimes there is family conflict.
Often there is financial stress.

The uncertainty can be difficult.
It can feel like riding a roller coaster of emotion
as you track on your beloved’s trajectory toward death.

There can be anguish in witnessing their suffering
as well as grace in the midst of it.

Fears arise:
– fear of the actual death
– fear of a medical crisis
– fear of not knowing what to do
– fear of not knowing if you can handle it
– fear of how it’ll be after they’re gone.

But it can also be a time of healing.
There can be:
– beautiful moments
– funny moments
– wise and tender moments.

There can be love expressed
that wasn’t able to be expressed before.
There can be forgiveness.
There can be gratitude.

And maybe even,
healing between you and your loved one,
if healing is possible.
You can say what needed saying
to resolve past conflicts.

You can say good-bye.

Even so,
it can still be shocking
when they really do die.
You knew it was coming,
but still….

You might be surprised
to discover that
no matter how much
you grieved before their death,
there is still more grieving to do.

You might feel guilty
that you feel some relief.
You might not know what to do with yourself
once you are no longer care-giving.

If you are in this situation,
please take good care of yourself
and reach out for support.
Remember to rest when you can.
You, too, are going through a transition
as you prepare for that time
when your loved one is birthed
out of their body…

Counseling can help with anticipatory grief.
Contact me to learn more:

Call: 253-572-7926

Email: marilyn@marilynboyle.com

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