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Grief before death

(12 Posts)
jitterbug85 Mon 30-Sep-13 00:18:59

Not sure this is the right place for this so please move if needs be...

Please tell me it's possible to mourn for someone who hasn't yet passed. Seems almost crazy to grieve for somebody before they have died. My aunt has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has just 6 weeks left to live, and to be honest I doubt that she will even make it as long as that. Understandably we are all shocked and devastated, but it almost feels like I've started the grieving process too early. I feel guilty as though I'm giving up on her having any chance of fighting it. If I can't cope with this now, I hate to think about after. Tell me it gets better.

Elibean Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:14

I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. And I totally understand both the immediate grief and the confusion/guilt.

FWIW, I think grief is inevitable - 6 weeks (even, as you say, if it does turn out to be that) is so short. And you are grieving for the loss of your aunt as you thought she was, and the loss of a future as you thought it was.

Anticipating loss is a hard one....the loss hasn't happened yet, and may not be as we imagine when it does, etc. BUT there is an actual loss happening right now, of things being as they were and your relationship being as it was, etc.

Not sure I'm expressing this right - I'm rushing a bit - but really hope that perhaps re-framing the grief in this way might help you have it without feeling guilty xxx

drivinmecrazy Mon 30-Sep-13 14:48:37

I grieved for 4 years whilst my Dad fought his cancer. I grieved what was to come, what should have been and the pain of knowing it would get him in the end. I dreaded how his final days would be, even if he was having a good week.

I got to the point I thought I would have no tears left when the inevitable happened. Sadly there were plenty.

Please don't feel guilty for however you feel, and when.

But do you know what? I survived. Didn't ever think I would when our horrible journey started. And so will you

minmooch Tue 01-Oct-13 20:23:40

I'm grieving for my son. Two years ago he was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant brain tumour. Surgery and treatment have left him disabled and still fighting his tumour. We don't know how long he has but I am grieving for his future, our future as a family, what should have been, his possible future wife and children, his future opportunities. Grief has many forms and starts way beyond death :-(

crazykat England Tue 01-Oct-13 21:20:56

I know what you mean. My mum has terminal cancer and was given two months to live, thankfully she's still here nearly a year later.

It's not so much grieving for them passing, it's grieving for the life they should have had, knowing what is to come and wondering every day if its their last. I completely went to pieces last year, didn't help having a four week old baby. I'm still grieving for the life my mum should have had and for my DCs who will lose yet another person close to them.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's very hard. IME it's harder than losing someone suddenly as you know the end is coming IYSWIM.

littlemim Tue 15-Oct-13 22:57:39

My Mam had Parkinson's and dementia which took her away from us long before she finally died nearly a year ago. I actually thought I'd finished grieving for her (as much as you ever finish) long before she actually passed because there was no real way to communicate with her. I was shocked by how I actually felt when she did go and got really angry about the life she, and the whole family had missed out on for years and years.

Holding you and your Auntie in my prayers.

LM x

footballagain Fri 18-Oct-13 00:42:08

I've been through it, please don't worry, it's totally natural! And please don't worry too much right now.

Mu mum is still here 18 months after her terminal diagnosis. It's tough, I'm not going to kid you. Dad took her into the hospice today (for yhe second time) to try to get things 'balanced'.

Charlie01234 Mon 21-Oct-13 16:40:24

I think it's perfectly normal. I grieved for my dad for the 2.5 years he was fighting terminal bowel cancer. Like others have said you are grieving for what will never be - there is only one outcome and the thought of how it will be is also scary. I look back now and am thankful that by the time he did pass away, we had nothing left unsaid - he knew how much we loved him. I'm sorry you are going through this.

MrsNPattz Wed 30-Oct-13 19:48:13

I'm in the same place, my uncle is terminal. I thought I was doing ok but found out today that he has gone into the hospice. He's in a lot pain so is in the best place, and I knew it was coming but it still feels like such a shock. And it really, really hurts.

Chottie Wed 20-Nov-13 05:36:24

I'm grieving for LO too. For what could have been, for what has happened and for the future. Lots of sympathy and hand holding to everyone.

Mirandasbestmate Wed 20-Nov-13 20:48:33

Same position unfortunately jitterbug with my mother in law but am hoping for longer than6 weeks. It's a bloody awful situation for everyone concerned & you have my sympathies xx

jessisinthegarden Fri 10-Jan-14 14:28:55

Please never feel bad for grieving your way - you are beginning to get your head around this awful news and grieving is part of the process.
We often grieve for past events, it's true...but also for what we may never have and for the loss of quality of life, as well as for the life itself, whether that life is in its final chapter, has just expired or finished years ago.
Grieving is never wrong and there is no right time for doing it.
Take care x

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