Dear @Essie, welcome to the forums. Our hearts go out to you as you face the loss of your beloved grandma. Thank you for sharing your experience here – it takes a lot of courage – especially when you don’t usually talk about your feelings. And we’re so grateful to @Sam for offering their words of support and ideas for coping too.
In your post, you expressed concerns for your mental health and mentioned that you have feared losing your grandma for years, which suggests you have been experiencing ‘anticipatory loss’ for some time. This type of loss brings all the same feelings and thoughts as after-death grief but can be worsened by anxiety caused by living day to day with the looming death. this situation might be contributing to you feeling ‘afraid and broken’.
You mention that you cry every night. While we understand that excessive crying can be confronting and exhausting, it can also be therapeutic as a way of consoling ourselves. At Griefline we call crying a ‘self-embrace when there are no words to express the pain’. Crying is also a stress release which is something you are in need of at the moment. So be kind and gentle to yourself and let the tears flow.
When we face losing a loved one we lose a sense of stability, especially when they’ve been there for us our whole lives – like your Grandma. We are suddenly faced with the unpredictability of life and our lack of control over it and can become excessively fearful and anxious (particularly if we’ve suffered from anxiety previously). Please know that anxiety in grief is normal. The impending loss of a loved one causes an overwhelming mix of thoughts and feelings – we switch from focusing on a future without them to the past with them in it. But by allowing yourself to be present and sit with your experience while accepting anxiety as a normal grief response, the anxiety will loosen its grip on you. Practicing self-care will also help – so continue to express your fears to others (just as you have done here on the forums) – you don’t have to shoulder this burden all on your own.
It might also be helpful to practice mindfulness…have you tried the ‘Reflecting On Positive Experiences’ recording here on our resource hub? This can help to relax you and also takes your mind to a more peaceful place – even for a short while. It could bring you some moments of relief which we feel sure your loving grandma would want for you.
@Essie, we hope this information and the coping strategies are helpful. And we hope that you will post again to let us know what’s happening for you. We are here for you. 🌸