Coping with Anticipatory Grief

Grief is an emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual response to loss. It is a natural byproduct of receiving a life-threatening diagnosis for a loved one. “Anticipatory grief” is the name for what people experience when they know that someone they love may possibly die.  It includes all the losses along the illness journey. It means grappling with and grieving the loss before it completely unfolds. For parents caring for children with a life-limiting illness, anticipatory grief is very common. It takes up a lot of room in a parent’s mind and heart.