Chapter 1: Exploring feelings while living with a serious diagnosis

Grief

I’ve been there
Peter discusses how he was experiencing anticipatory grief at the time of his wife’s diagnosis and during the time of being her primary caregiver(3:22)Video transcript
Description to come(3:22)Video transcript

Whenever I imagine my life without her, I feel an aching sorrow, a large hollow space.

We usually think of grief in terms of family members and friends who are struggling to carry on after the death of a loved one. However, grief can be felt even without a death. Where there is loss, there can be grief.

The person who is ill

From the moment of diagnosis – and probably earlier – there is a sense of loss. Physical changes can lead to an altered body image and an increasing loss of independence. Below are some other losses the person who is ill may be grieving. Roll your mouse over each one for additional information about it.

Inability to work

 

 

This may be especially true for people whose identity is strongly connected to their jobs.

 

Loss of independence

 

 

 

This can become overwhelming when others make decisions for the ill person, and it can lead to anger, frustration, and even despair.

 

 

The family

Family members also experience grief in anticipation of the final days of someone’s life. You may feel grief because you recognize the losses felt by the person who is ill. Below are other reasons you may be grieving. Roll your mouse over each one for additional information about it.

The family functions differently

 

 

Changes in roles and responsibilities may lead to grief.

 

The future

 

 

You may feel grief for a future that will be different than you had imagined.