Why Dont We Talk About Anticipatory Grief?

 
I know anticipatory grief - a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event occurs - far too well. My mother suffered from probable Alzheimer's disease and I was her caregiver for nine years. As time passed she lost the ability to reason, track numbers, read a book, understand TV, create sentences, and finally, the ability to speak. Every time I was with her I wanted to cry. Anticipatory grief is a hard journey and nobody can take it for us. Some experts think anticipatory grief is worse than post-death grief because we're always on alert, waiting for the end to come....
 

Scared to Death of Dying and Denying Grief

 
When I invited Martha to the gathering at my house, she accepted the invitation cheerfully. Martha was new to the area and so I thought this small potluck I was hosting would be a chance for her to get to know other women in our town. Martha stuck it out till the end, softly responding to each person's questions about where she had moved from and the details involving her current job. It was not until the last guest left that night that she was able to utter her fears, "Oh, Alice, maybe I shouldn't have come....
 

One Womans Way of Dealing With Grief

 
All of us at one time or another have felt grief: perhaps over a lost job, lost love, or the most heartbreaking, the death of someone we loved dearly. Each of us goes about the task of grieving in our own distinct way. When we lose a loved one the grief path is long and complicated. We feel so many different emotions, sadness, abandonment, anger; it seems we will never be normal again. When I lost my son and my husband within the same year, I was devastated. My son died in April of that year and my husband and I had him cremated....
 

Who has the Worst Pain

 
During the 28 years I have been interacting with bereaved people, one of the most frequent questions I have been asked is, "Who has the worst pain?" Do bereaved parents suffer more than widows and widowers? Do children whose parents die feel more agony than children who lose a sibling? Is it harder to watch a loved one suffer for a long time before death releases the victim than it is to answer the doorbell or the phone at midnight and suddenly hear the news of tragedy? Is suicide worse than homicide?...
 

When Change Comes (Dealing With Grief and Loss)

 
Needless to say, the time after loss is volatile and confusing for most people. Unresolved issues come to the fore and questions we have not answered must often be confronted. Along with a sense of abandonment and sorrow, anger often arises. Most have little understanding of what they are going through, or what to expect in the future. Facing the unknown can produce additional fear. Yet crisis means opportunity. When the process of grief is handled properly suffering can be diminished and symptoms that may appear later, can be forestalled....
 

Made in Heaven

 
Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend - my Mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my football matches, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, supported me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. When Mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her....
 

The Creative Side of Healing

 
One of the areas where I seem to be placing most of my focus these days is the relationship between creative expression and healing. Something that I have always found to be particularly fascinating is the fact that the words heal, whole and holy all come from the same Latin root. (Check it out!) What this says to me is that the idea of disease, is just that--dis-ease, being off center, out of sync. And to heal therefore, means the opposite--to be whole again, to somehow restore or recapture the whole, "holy" aspect of our nature--that part of us that is in touch with and expresses the divine, creative spirit that lives within us all....
 

Liberation

 
It is one thing to be free; it is quite another to be liberated. Liberation implies that freedom was absent for a time, and there was bondage. Though it may seem like a dichotomy, grief has both the power to bind and the power to liberate from bondage. Initially, when a person we love dies, we are in the bondage of grief and it feels as if we will never recover-never be the same again. And we are right; we never will be the same again. But maybe being the same again shouldn't be our goal. Having been confronted by death, we suddenly see LIFE in a totally different way than we had ever considered it before....
 

Grief

 
If you have ever lost someone dear to you it is likely that you can still summon up the grief that you may still be carrying deep inside yourself as a result of the loss. If this grief, which is usually felt as a deep saddness, is something that you would like to clear in yourself then you may find some hope here. In this brief passage I would like to address this grief in a way that you have probably never seen or heard of before. Following what comes next may leave you feeling transformed, so I caution you in advance....
 

Anticipatory Grief and Ongoing Sadness for Caregivers

 
In 1969, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published her famous book; On Death and Dying and later went on to launch the Hospice movement in America. Even though her studies focused more on those who were dying than the caregivers that were left behind, her work has had enormous influence on the understanding of various stages of death and grief. She described five distinctive stages of the grief process: ? Denial ? Anger ? Bargaining ? Depression ? Acceptance Although not everyone progresses through these stages in the same order and not everyone experiences each stage, the feelings and emotions identified seem to be universal....
 
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