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  • Gwyneth Blackwell and Kathleen Riordan

Anticipatory Grief

It is often thought that the grieving process begins when the loved one dies. However, it often begins long before death arrives. It can start as soon as loved ones become aware that death is a likelihood. Though this is different than the grief that follows death, anticipatory grief can carry many symptoms of regular grief--sadness, anger, isolation, forgetfulness and depression. It can be compounded by the exhaustion of the loved one who is the primary caregiver. They are aware of the looming death and accepting that it will come, which can bring an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and dread. Anticipatory Grief is also Disenfranchised Grief, grief that is not recognized by others watching the process. We work closely with families facing these situations all the time. People suffering from Anticipatory Grief need support and guidance to help them work through the process, so it's that much less stressful.

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