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Does anyone know anything about anticipatory grieving?

(20 Posts)
LoveBeingAMummy Thu 08-Oct-09 07:41:01

As the title says really. Just trying to find out more and how to deal with it.


ILikeToQuickstepItTangoIt Thu 08-Oct-09 07:54:27

Do you mean for example a friend/relative is suffering from a terminal illness and the grieving process starting before they have died?

You ok?

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 08-Oct-09 08:35:43

Yes that's it. I'm pretty certain I'm going through it. Dh is finding it very hard to deal with as doesn't really know what to do or say.

sarah293 Thu 08-Oct-09 08:48:43

Message withdrawn

saggarmakersbottomknocker Thu 08-Oct-09 08:54:56

We've just been through this. My FIL died this week 10 weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. We knew from day 1 that he had very little time. dh really struggled initially. And I struggled to help him TBH. There really isn't anything you can do or say; just ask him to be there for you when you're sad.

I'm sorry you've had bad news.

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 08-Oct-09 09:07:18

Riven, i don't know how you do it, you are amazing.

saggar, sorry abot your fil. Its now at a point where i try not to let it out but then when it does dh gets upset as he thinks i'm making myself ill. Didn't really help as had my uncles funneral on monday, my dads brother, its my dad who has cancer.

sarah293 Thu 08-Oct-09 09:10:56

Message withdrawn

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 08-Oct-09 09:14:23

I took vol redunadcy cause of it, was a wreck at work, just couldn't cope, always waiting for a phone call.

I also feel terrible about when my mum told me, I just sat there and couldn't speak.

We're not a family to talk about things.

Cicatrice Thu 08-Oct-09 09:28:21

My Dad had dementia, and when he died, I felt that I had grieved in advance, since in most respects he was already gone.

I expected to feel much more upset than I did, but of course, I had been upset for about 4 years as the dementia worsened.

We have just settled the estate and that made me cry, much more than at the actual time of his passing.It seems more final.

Different to knowing that someone is going to die shortly though. Dad could quite easily have gone for 10 years. I'm sorry. Its a difficult thing.

ILikeToQuickstepItTangoIt Thu 08-Oct-09 09:28:36

So sorry to hear about your dad.

Try and live for the day and just cope with whatever that day brings. Going through every scenario of what might happen is exhausting and ultimately a waste of energy.

Internalising everything isn't a very healthy way of dealing with it imo. The feelings and emotions have to come out at some point, better to cry/talk when you need to rather than explode 1 week, 1 month, 1 year down the line.

Just tell you dh he needs to be there to listen. He doesn't have to have an opinion or words of comfort, just being there and being a listening ear can be enough.

Take care xxx

ILikeToQuickstepItTangoIt Thu 08-Oct-09 09:29:36

So sorry to hear about your FIL Saggar sad

saggarmakersbottomknocker Thu 08-Oct-09 09:33:07

I'm sorry about your dad.

Trying not to let it out isn't necessarily the best thing to do. I know you may be trying to protect your dh. You need to grieve and there's no timetable, no right or wrong way. It's a very stressful time.

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 08-Oct-09 09:33:18

Thanks guys. It does help to hear your stories, strange isn't it?

saggarmakersbottomknocker Thu 08-Oct-09 09:35:57

QuickStep - I've been thinking about you too. Difficult time of year for you. x

ILikeToQuickstepItTangoIt Thu 08-Oct-09 13:43:41

Thanks Saggar, I'll be pleased when early Nov has been and gone.

pinotmonster Thu 08-Oct-09 20:08:02

Lovebeingamummy, my dh has incurable cancer and it is spreading so I know how you are feeling. I think it's the uncertainly that's the worst.

Riven, my heart goes out to you.

onlyjoking9329 Thu 08-Oct-09 21:03:34

i know a bit about this i guess, my husband had cancer and for a while we thought he would be ok then we were told it was terminal, we had 10 months of knowing that he would die, well steve mostly forgot but i knew.
you are in limbo land which is an awfully hard place to be.
i found the macmillan forum a good place to chat and ask questions.

rolledhedgehog Fri 09-Oct-09 12:17:23

Experienced it when my mum was terminally ill. Also have done some reading about the subject. It seems to me from my reading and own experience that it can help to havea period of knowing that someone is going to die. It gives one time to adjust and certainly from me when the death came there was a feeling of relief and release as well as sadness.

However, the period of antipatory grief can be very difficult to bear if the family is not willing/able to be open with each other about the impending death. Means you have to keep it all in and deal with it alone. Also it is a bloody effort to not talk about the elephant in the room and put on a brave face. This was my experience too although I did have DH to be honest with about my feelings.

To be honest I lost my mum with plenty of warning and then my dad a few years later without warning and in their own way both both were equally shit. Watching someone fade away is awful but that shock of an unexpected death takes the legs from under you and the breath from your lungs for me it altered everything I thought I knew about my life.

There is just not a nice way to lose soomeone you love.

FourArms Fri 09-Oct-09 12:28:53

My sister and her DH-to-be are going through this right now. His mum had a fall 7 weeks ago, went into hospital, and was diagnosed with NHL. Since then they've gone through chemo optimistically, been told they had until Christmas, and now this has been reduced to any day.

It's very hard for them both to deal with it. In a way, the sooner the better would be best, as she's suffering (can't drink, eat, swallow, talk...), but they have brought their wedding forward from next June to next week so she can be there. So hope she makes it.

cookiemonstress Wed 21-Oct-09 19:36:24

really sorry that everyone on here has a reason to be on this thread.
I lost my mum 2 weeks ago to ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed 3 yrs ago and we knew it was terminal from the start but because she was otherwise fit and healthy in all other respects, she did a good job of fighting it off for a while.
I thought I knew something of grief but this has knocked me for six. I swing from disbelief to tears, in fact the whole grief cycle in the space of 24 hours. I do know this though. Now that the worse thing has happened, a lot of the crippling anxiety I have felt every day for the last three yrs has gone. I didn't realise just how much stress and anxiety it was causing me. I actually feel a bit calmer now (especially now the funeral is over) and having seen my mum suffer especially in the last three months, it is nice to be able to now focus on the whole of her life and not just the present as it was, if that makes sense.

I also know now that no matter how prepared you think you are (i work for a cancer charity, have a cancer gene myself and had asked all her consultants and nurses to be 100% honest with me from the start , you can not be fully prepared. We knew she was dying but it will still a shock to know she had gone. I found her macmillan nurse to be a big help and she helped me understand that I started grieving in effect, three years ago.

People who have been through similar experiences that I know have ended up going to counsellors and all have found it to be helpful, so that might be something to bear in mind.

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