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Welcome to this online journal for caregivers to the dying or bereaved—important and challenging work, for sure! My goal is to support you by providing inspirational thoughts, pertinent resources, and suggestions for self-care. With appreciation for all you do!

- Rebecca Hauder

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Manage Your Anticipatory Grief

Manage Your Anticipatory Grief

September 30, 2022

Peace is accepting today releasing yesterday and giving up control of tomorrow.

~Lori Deschene 


The Grief Support groups I've led were always open to anyone who had lost a loved one—whether through a sudden unexpected death or after a long gradual decline. While all in the group were grieving, I noticed that those who had lost a loved one after a long illness had started grieving long before the death as they watched their loved one decline and their quality of life slip away. These mourners had experienced something called anticipatory grief. Perhaps you, as a caregiver, are experiencing this too as you watch the person you are caring for gradually decline.


I've included a few tips for managing anticipatory grief:

  •  Consider your mixed feelings of sadness, denial, guilt, frustration, and many others as normal! These emotions are preparing you for the eventual loss. As the saying goes, feelings are neither right nor wrong.
  • Give yourself permission to feel! Take the time to write the name of one or two of the primary feelings. What color is each feeling? Explore each by writing a couple of sentences describing them. Draw a picture of what each might look like.
  • I've stated this before, but here I go again: If your feelings are intense and making it hard for you to do daily chores, then seek professional help from someone experienced with different types of grief. You won't be sorry!


The link below is a brief article on this topic of anticipatory grief that might be helpful.


Warm regards,


Rebecca Hauder BSN, M.Ed.


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