Let go of preconceived ideas it is sometimes assumed that anticipatory grief is the same post-loss. However this is not true, although we may have anticipated the loss, we still experience numbness and shock. This can cause feelings of guilt and confusion when we expect ourselves to cry and feel deep emotions, but instead, feel void of any emotion or foggy for weeks even months post-loss.
Find a way of expressing yourself by talking, writing, painting, etc.
- Often if you have lost your appetite. Avoid caffeine & alcohol (trust me) Consider therapy as an option.
- Drink Lots of water and eat little and
- Time (Days or years after.)
- Immerse yourself in grief material, listen to podcasts, read books and if you feel able, find friends within the grief community. Don’t be afraid to bluntly but respectfully communicate your needs and how you feel – even if that is space.
Please don’t feel obliged to comfort others when you are exhausted or try and fix those left in your family. Make others feel at ease around you by suppressing your grief. Keep up appearances, appointments, correspondence, or return to work. Find toxic gratitude or beauty in anticipatory grief or your loved one(s) terminal illness.
It’s okay if you.
- Don’t cry at all, or you cry for hours on end, the absence or presence of tears is not a measurement of how much we are grieving. Feel drained from doing the smallest thing, grief fatigue, and brain fog are real. Rest is a big part of healing.
- They can be mental torture.
- You feel relieved or that the worst part of your journey is over – watching somebody die from a terminal illness and/or caring for
- Feel hungry or you are gaining weight, changes in appearance (or no changes) are not an indication of how you are coping.
Self Care Ideas
1. Have a warm shower or bath and listen to à podcast or guided meditation.
2. Alternatively go for a long walk or drive to shift’ your ruminating thoughts, whilst listening to an audiobook.
3. Light a candle and read out a poem or letter you have written for your loved one. Follow a stretch or yoga session on
4. YouTube for free. Invest in rest-weighted blankets, aromatherapy oils & cold eye masks are all extremely comforting.
Say everything you need to say
This saying comes from others’ hindsight perspective and sometimes projecting their wishes, this can be harmful for two reasons:
1. Anticipatory grief is as complicated as after grief, we may be experiencing denial or shock and not feel able to have those conversations. Equally, it may feel too painful to have those conversations.
2. If we are not able to have those conversations after this advice, we may feel guilty and regret the ‘missed opportunity and internalize this pressure as something we have done wrong.