Anticipatory grief has all the same signs and feelings of regular grief – sadness, feeling alone, anger, depression – but this is then accompanied by caregiver responsibilities. Why do we feel this way? We begin to grieve for the person as they slip away from us one day at a time. We mourn their loss of personality, loss of ability, the fact that they are in pain, their loss of independence. We mourn the fact they suffer.
Grief is unique from person to person. No two people will experience the same. Some feel immense relief that their loved one is no longer suffering, while others are so devastated they cannot seem to function day-to-day. I have seen it all. And I grieve with them.
Did you know that there are many types of grief? There is anticipatory grief, normal grief, chronic grief, complicated grief, and the list goes on. In our daily work, we deal primarily with two types – anticipatory and “normal” grief.
Compassion fatigue, caregiver fatigue, secondary traumatization, vicarious traumatization…all descriptions of what happens when we care too much, when we give our all to taking care of our loved ones, it even happens to medical professionals. What is compassion fatigue?
Caring for your loved one is difficult, but watching your loved one slip away little by little each day is harder. You want to make their environment a peaceful and loving one, but you might not know where to start. We want to help you create and maintain such an environment – not only for your loved one, but for yourself as well.
Of all the conversations you expect to have in life, the end-of-life one is probably the most difficult. This particular conversation needs to be about you and your wishes. And conveying these wishes is hard for people. It is difficult enough with a life-limiting diagnosis, but letting loved ones know about it and what you expect can put additional stress on an already unimaginable situation. But there are some things you can do to help you prepare for these conversations and make them easier to have with your loved ones.