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Anticipated grief of losing someone

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Home Forums Loss of a loved one Anticipated grief of losing someone

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  • #27857

    How do you cope with antisipary grief of a loved one. My dad has been fighting for six years but his battle is coming to an end. I know I keep pushing the grief aside but it’s now coming out more often. What’s others thoughts on how to deal with this. Do I let it out? I don’t want to lose my dad, but cancer is taking him and I hate that. But I have no choice and need to somehow try to cope and understand that.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #27872

    I’m truly sorry to hear about your dad’s battle with cancer. Anticipatory grief is a complex emotional state and it’s completely normal. Facing the reality of losing someone you love can be incredibly painful, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed… please be kind to yourself and reach out for support if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

    Here are some thoughts on how to cope with anticipatory grief (this is completely up to you how you wish to cope these are just some suggestions I have come up with):

    Acknowledge Your Feelings: Allow yourself to feel the grief. It’s okay to cry, be angry, or feel anxious. Suppressing emotions can sometimes make things harder in the long run. By acknowledging your feelings, you’re giving yourself permission to process them.

    Connect with Your Dad: Spend quality time with your dad. Share memories, express your love, and let him know how much he means to you. These moments can be precious and comforting for both of you.

    Seek Support: Reach out to family, friends, or a counselor. Talking about your emotions can be therapeutic. You don’t have to go through this alone. Sometimes, just having someone listen can provide immense relief.

    Educate Yourself: Learn about the dying process. Understanding what to expect can help reduce anxiety. It also allows you to be more prepared for the practical aspects, such as end-of-life care and legal matters.

    Create Meaningful Moments: Create memories with your dad. Share stories, watch his favorite movies, or engage in activities he enjoys. These moments can be comforting and help you feel connected.

    Self-Care: Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Get enough rest, eat well, and consider relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing. Grief can be exhausting, so self-care is crucial.

    Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to cope with anticipatory grief. Everyone experiences it differently. Allow yourself to feel, seek support, and cherish the time you have with your dad. Losing a loved one is never easy, but finding ways to cope can help you navigate this painful journey.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.


    Hi, I think the previous reply sums up beautifully ways to deal with this really tough experience you are going through. I lost my Dad to cancer too and had some regrets that I didnt spend more quality time with him. But its also good not to put any pressure on yourself to ‘do it right or better’ but to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. And try to find good and caring shoulders to cry on, whether that is a friend, a family member or a helpline like Griefline. Thinking of you during this very tough time.


    HI annamichelle, just checking in. This is such a profound time, one that is hard to put into words. I have too lost loved ones to cancer. Some things that I find were hepful for me upon reflection were connecting with others (grief can feel so lonely) and trying to remember to prioritse my wellbeing/ self care (it can be the last thing on our minds, but as grief can effect us emotionally, physically and spiritually it is essential to address our needs). Sending you all my compassion…


    I’m truly sorry to hear about your dad’s battle with cancer. Coping with anticipatory grief is challenging. It’s okay to let your emotions out; expressing your feelings can be a healthy way to cope. Share your thoughts with someone you trust or consider counseling for additional support. Cherish the time you have with your dad, creating memories and acknowledging the love you share. Find moments of peace for yourself, whether through self-reflection or engaging in activities you enjoy. Remember, everyone copes differently, so allow yourself the space to grieve in your way. Seek comfort in the support of friends, family, or support groups. Wishing you strength and moments of connection during this difficult time.


    Hi @annamichelle

    Anticipatory grief can be challenging and confusing. There is certainly utility in allowing your emotions to come out, best done where you are in a safe place and/or have a support person/network around you. There is great strength in reflection, and taking the time to grieve. It can be cathartic to have a trusted person there just to listen to you acknowledging your feelings.

    In my personal experiences with anticipatory grief, it was not useful for me to push it aside, as it meant that my grief reached ‘boiling point’ on a couple of occasions. These times were isolating, and shocked me to my core. It was as if a big dark storm cloud crept up from behind me and then a major storm began.

    I agree with the above recommendations, namely spending quality time with your dad, and self-care. Perhaps you could write down your feelings if it ever feels too daunting to share them with others. You could also read/write letters to him directly in your sacred shared times.

    Please feel free to call our Helpline to provide you supportive care where you feel you need it. You are not in this alone. All the best to you.


    So sorry about your dad’s battle with cancer over the past 6years. This will create a complex emotional state and anticipatory grief. This is okay and completely normal. Expressing your feelings and sharing, are all healthy ways to cope. The recommendations in the previous post are the many ways to spend quality time with your dad as well as self-care methods for yourself.
    We are here and, on our helpline, to continue supporting you along this difficult journey as long as it takes.


    Hi. This is my first post on this site. I think that you need to have free time available without work pressures and other stresses when a sad time happens. Also, walking in a garden helps mood feel better. A little walking helps too.


    Thank you everyone. I am doing my best. Things just got harder as my parents are looking at DNR forms and other stuff from the hospital. He’s in and out of hospital. But it’s all very real now.

    I am doing what I can to see him as much as possible. Sometimes hard because he looks so unwell at times. But thank you to everyone for your advice and thoughts.


    Hi @annamichelle,

    Thank you for reaching out again. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you. It sounds like your father is a real fighter and has held on for your family. As everyone above has said, staying connected with your father and the rest of your family during this time is so important.

    I would like to acknowledge how difficult it must feel to see him so unwell and that it is completely normal to find that hard. It sounds like you have a lovely, close relationship with your father and I encourage you during this difficult time to think about all the lovely memories you have created together.

    As the grief changes, your emotions will too and so I would like to reiterate the sentiment of others on here, be kind to yourself, give yourself space and time to process and of course, continue to reach out as you need. If you would prefer to talk, our helpline number is 1300 920 552.

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