What is Anticipatory Grief?
Grief is a natural response to loss. However, it is possible to feel the weight and pain of loss even as your loved one is still alive. Grief is actually something that starts well before death but combine it with a caregiver’s frustration and exhaustion, anticipatory grief becomes much more complicated. Not only is there the loss of a loved one’s physical abilities but the loss of independence, hope, and especially identity for both the caregiver and the care recipient. On top of this is the daily reminder of experiencing this unforeseeable grief as caregivers struggle to keep up a healthy perspective and routine.
Acknowledging anticipatory grief is vital to warding off caregiver burnout. Feelings of frustration, sadness, resentment, and confusion with what is happening are normal. As the primary caregiver you may experience feelings of relief after your loved one has died. You are not alone! Connecting with others that can relate and validate your experience is key, be it a support group or other form of consultation. By seeking support throughout your caregiving journey, you help not only yourself but your loved one and other caregivers.
Please consider taking an hour for yourself and join one of our caregiver support groups now offered at various locations during the month for your convenience