Anticipatory grief, how to manage when each day is the 'last'

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by LouiseA, Jan 10, 2024.

  1. LouiseA

    LouiseA New Member

    I am a new member and when filling out the form I was asked when the death occured?. I ticked the box for 'within the last 6 months' but the truth is, my beloved dad is still alive. Mum and I are living with anticipatory grief .... or to put it another way, grief that builds up to the point of death, you know it is coming and there is nothing you can do to avoid it.
    We are exhausted emotionally, our days are filled with thoughts about poor dad and what can do to bring quality to his remaining weeks, but at night and when alone our souls break because we cannot let him see us so upset and distressed. Selfishly we feel we are just 'existing' - life is carrying on for everyone else but we cannot look beyond tomorrow. I am also very concerned about how we will face life after dad, because I feel that the present situation is so overwhelming and insurmountable. I feel really low and overwhelmed and would appreciate any advice.
  2. lem

    lem New Member

    Hi Louise,

    I am so sorry for what you and your mom are going through right now. I’m not sure if I’m in the best position to give advice, maybe someone with further insight/healing can help as well, but I do understand anticipatory grief. My dad passed away three weeks ago and it still hurts me so much to even type that out. He was sick for a long time and it was incredibly difficult to see that. But I just want you to know that it is in no way selfish of you and your mom to be just existing right now. Sometimes that’s all we can do. I want to say to try and just be present (mentally as well) with him as much as possible but I know that can be really hard too, so just whenever you can manage it. Looking back I can be glad for the times where even when we didn’t do anything I was just with him and I knew he knew I was there with him. I hope it brought him some comfort, and I hope it does for your dad as well.

    As for after I was preoccupied with that too, I thought I’d never survive the loss because I just couldn’t imagine living without him. Not that I am really in a state to be an inspiration right now, but I am here, and that was more than I could see before. So yes, it will be hard, but you will be here after, and it may surprise you but somehow you will get through, one moment at a time. I also thought everything that reminded me of him would make me break down and be unbearable, but I’ve been surprised that in some ways looking back at photos and thinking of memories has brought me peace at times. I also feel like he is not really gone, that he is still with me in a way. I hope you may feel the same.

    So overall I guess I would say try not to think too much about after, when you can. It’s something impossible to imagine, but we all have a strange resilience I suppose. And for right now, to just try to be present, both for yourself and for your dad, so he knows you and your mom are there with him. I do believe he knows that now and that it brings him comfort, to be so well loved. So just stay with him and let yourselves just exist without feeling guilty, it is enough to just survive times like this.
  3. LouiseA

    LouiseA New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. You speak from the heart and from personal experience. I am so sorry that you are in this position and I really feel for you.
    You lost your dad just 3 weeks ago, but you found the time to share your thoughts with me - you are kind and supportive and you are in my thoughts. An ocean may separate our locations, but our experiences lie side by side
    lem likes this.