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Anticipatory grief is deep sadness felt during the last days of life.

This can be experienced by both the dying person and the dying person’s loved ones.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help cope with the grief you feel for someone who is still here.

Spending time with a dying loved one is important.

Find meaningful ways to spend time together. Like reading their favorite novel or sharing old photographs.

Ask your loved one to share stories about family heirlooms and other possessions like jewelry.

Consider making videos of your loved one sharing stories. These recordings can be shared with children, friends, and other family members.

Everyone finds meaning in different things. Ultimately, the activities you choose are not important.

What is important is the time you spend with the person, even if it’s in silence.

Children also experience anticipatory grief but are often given fewer chances to express themselves.

It can help decrease anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems.

The organization Inheritance of Hope

They offer Legacy Retreats for young families facing the death of a parent.

These retreats are all-expense-paid trips for qualified families with children under 18.

Legacy Retreats help families form lifelong memories. These families also get help learning to cope with a parent’s terminal diagnosis.

Keeping a journal can be healing and help you express things you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing otherwise.

You may also want to use a site like CaringBridge. This type of forum can help you share thoughts and feelings with friends and family.

If you are the person who is dying, consider writing letters to your children or other family members.

Some people write letters to be opened on future occasions like birthdays or graduations.

This is a great way to express emotions and can be a gift to those left behind. A holistic approach may be helpful both for the dying person and their loved ones.

Some of these therapies have been found to help with emotions like anxiety. Studies found that a holistic approach can help bring hope and healing to people who are grieving.

Spirituality is important for those who are dying and for their caregivers. Activities such as organized religion and prayer, meditation and communing with nature can be helful.

Studies have shown that people have better quality of life in their last days if they have an active spiritual life.

Talking about anticipatory grief and ways of coping can be hard. Everyone passes through it in their own way and in their own time.

Thank you to and Lynne Eldridge, MD for this content!

See full article HERE.