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Dealing with anticipatory grief after terminal illness diagnosis

It is never an easy thing to think about death, leave alone staging a peaceful convo on this topic. Then there comes a time when you are diagnosed with one of those killer terminal ailments and you have to remain the father, mother, sister or professional you’ve always been. Truly speaking, most people will treat the terminal ailment diagnosis as a death sentence. Similarly, family members will go into a moment of anticipatory grief after hearing the news.  However, we fail to notice that though painful, the diagnosis of terminal ailment grants you the great opportunity to bid your circles goodbye as you plan ahead.

Here’s how to deal with anticipatory grief after terminal illness diagnosis:

#1 Be free to talk about it

You have to appreciate that it is a normal thing to develop anticipatory grief when a loose keen or friend is diagnosed with a terminal illness. In the real sense, anticipatory grief makes you grapple with a loss before it manifests.

Remember, the diagnosis makes you start thinking of the many things you will lose after the loved one is gone. The following steps could come in handy any moment you want to share about the situation you are passing through:

  • Get a support group
  • Be keen to spend a few moment with the loved one
  • Tell them that you appreciate them and reveal what they mean to you
  • Listen to grief podcasts
  • Read books about your loved one’s ailment
  • Have a circle of supportive family members that have undergone a similar scenario

#2 Take time to process the situation

Processing the information presented by the physician will help you cope up with the new scenario more easily than developing a don’t care attitude towards the issue at hand. Remember, no one ever wishes their family members or friends to be diagnosed with a terminal illness. This explains why denial set in as a coping mechanism immediately after receiving the news of grief. The truth is that you are in denial either because you don’t want to get the reality or the weight behind the truth will be too hard to deal with/ process.

In most cases, fear of the unknown becomes a major stumbling block when trying to process the information I anticipatory grief. You don’t want to imagine living a life without the presence of the loved one. However, staging a few conversations about the topic will grant you the opportunity to know what to expect and prepare. Effective processing will make you understand any health changes and know how to handle them.

#3 Lay plans

The final step is to plan ahead. You may approach websites like Kenya Obituaries any moment you want to be in full control of the decisions that will affect your loved one’s final journey.  Remember, having a discussion about death while the terminally ill person is still alive will help you make proper decisions that will grant them a befitting sendoff.

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