When a loved one is dealing with a terminal illness, knowing they may no longer be around can be a painful undertaking. This feeling is known as anticipatory grief. While it can be overwhelming, there are ways to navigate through the transition. Funeral home directors often offer the following suggestions for coping.
How to Deal With an Imminent Death
1. Reach Out for Support
You may think you’re alone with your feelings about an impending death. However, there are support groups for people who are experiencing anticipatory grief. Start by going online to find groups in your local area. Funeral home staff members can also recommend resources. Talking with others who are going through similar circumstances provides an outlet to share your own thoughts and frustrations.
2. Know What to Expect
If you haven’t already, learn as much as you can about a loved one’s condition. Talk to their doctor or nurse about symptoms that may appear. If medication and treatment are a part of the care plan, educate yourself about both. By knowing what to expect, you’ll have some semblance of control and eliminate uncertainty about the next steps.
3. Cherish the Times
One way to deal with anticipatory grief is to continue cherishing the time spent with loved ones. Funeral home directors suggest doing activities they enjoy. If possible, take them for walks in the park, play checkers, or enjoy a favorite meal together. Share memories of events, other family members, and traditions, too.
4. Embrace Respite Care
You may need a break from caring for a loved one with a terminal illness. Accept offers from friends and relatives to fill in from time to time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so you don’t get burnt out. A much-needed respite allows you to clear your mind, reflect, and refuel.
There is no rule book for coping with a pending loss. Each person’s coping mechanisms will differ. The key is to surround yourself with supportive systems so that you’ll be prepared when the day arrives. Fred D. Knapp & Son Funeral Home in Greenwich, CT, has served generations of families since 1846. What makes the family-owned funeral home unique is their stellar reputation for professional and compassionate service. They are the leading choice within the community when it comes to funeral pre-planning and customized memorials. Should you ever need their services, call (203) 869-0315. Visit the website for information on the complete suite of available offerings.