Speak with a Hospice Care Representative 702-509-5276

How to Cope With Anticipatory Grief During Hospice Process

how to cope with anticipatory grief during hospice

If there’s one seemingly unfair rule about our time here on Earth, it’s that it is limited. We all have “our time” to go, and this is out of our control. In many cases, if someone is terminally ill or aging, the time will come when a family member puts their care in the hands of a professional hospice care provider. The hospice process can be difficult for those loved ones with the knowledge that the individual’s time is coming to an end, but the pain and anticipatory grief can be lessened with a little guidance.

If you have a terminally ill relative and need help coping,
call us at (702) 509-5276 or contact us online.


What Is Anticipatory Grief?

Anticipatory grief is the grief that a person begins to feel as something negative is approaching such as the terminal conclusion of someone’s decline in health. It can be felt by loved ones who are preparing for the loss of their loved one, or it can be felt by the person who is nearing death themselves.

People who feel the typical type of grief vs anticipatory grief often go through the same emotions, but grief and anticipatory grief are not quite the same thing. For example, anticipatory grief also covers emotions felt before a significant loss other than death. For example, someone dealing with a looming divorce may also be a victim of anticipatory grief.

Anticipatory Grief Symptoms

  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Guilt
  • Denial
  • Emotional numbness
  • Tearfulness
  • Acceptance

Preparing for the Death of a Loved One

Feeling emotional while preparing for the death of a loved one is normal and to be expected. It is important to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed by delegating preparation tasks and seeking out emotional support as needed. There are many things that can work up a grieving person.

Keep things simple by remaining organized and having a strong support network. If there are any final things that must be done before the loved one passes, be sure to do them with plenty of time to spare. Other loved ones and friends should be notified of the impending death of your loved one so that proper goodbyes may be said and closure provided for all.

Related: How to Say Goodbye When Your Loved One’s Time Is Near


Nothing can hinder the grieving process like a lack of closure. Put any resentments and frustrations aside and try your best to focus on your loved one as well as making sure that they have a peaceful passing. Communication is very important during this time.


Coping with Anticipatory Grief through Social Support

There is a large social network out there for those who are suffering with anticipatory grief which will provide support in many forms, most importantly emotionally. Many people find support through their relatives and close friends, but this may not always be an option.

There are groups and meetings that can be joined and attending by those suffering with anticipatory grief in which a sufferer could find an empathetic ear and a friend. Whether a person suffering with anticipatory grief seeks help from a friend, group, hospice, or counselor, the most important thing is that they are seeking help.

No one should suffer through anticipatory grief alone. Seeking emotional support from others is the most important thing a person coping with anticipatory grief can do.

Related: Home Hospice Care Information for Patients and Families


One of the amazing things about hospice is that it’s not just for the individual who is receiving care from hospice professionals; it includes grief counseling and social support for the family members and loved ones involved.

The goal is to make the end-of-life transition as comfortable as possible for everyone who is affected. At Omni, we know how important your loved one is to you, and this is why we take pride in being a shoulder you can lean on. For more information, call us at (702) 509-5276 or download our free home hospice care guide below.

Download Omni Home Hospice Care Guide