Knowing the end is near....

Many of us are aware that grief is a normal part of every loss we experience, but does grief only occur after the loss? Anticipatory grief is the form of grief that occurs when one is confronted with a chronic or life threatening illness or when one anticipates the death of a loved one (or oneself). Anticipatory grief does not substitute, or necessarily lessen, grief that occurs after the death. It is not simply grief pushed ahead in time. Please utilize this discussion group to share your thoughts and feelings.

Knowing the end is near....

Postby butercup4200 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:33 pm

It is becoming increasingly difficult to stay positive during my mother's 4 year battle with breast cancer. She now has Hospice coming to her home over the past week and they are wonderful, although it is difficult to know my place as the daughter. I want to take care of every need she has and make the cancer and pain go away and just go out to lunch or to a movie like we used to. She can't even get up out of her chair anymore. The hardest thing is watching her decline after each diagnosis of cancer was cancelled out by a good report. This time their are no treatments left no magical pills...the reality is she is going to die. She is only 59 years old way too young for this. My main concern is that she may never get to meet my children. Honestly, with the stress of knowing that she is doing so poorly, having children right now seems selfish on my part. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I almost do not want to get pregnant...she would never get to meet her grandchildren and that breaks my heart.
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Re: Knowing the end is near....

Postby KarenH » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:37 pm

Butercup4200 - thank you for your post. The thoughts and feelings you've described are all so valid. I'm glad you have a hospice team involved in your mother's care. Part of the value of the team can be to help support you in your role as caregiver while also giving you opportunities to spend time just being a daughter. And while the time you spend with your mother has changed in content...maybe sharing a meal at the bedside rather than going out to lunch, or watching a movie together in Mom's room instead of heading out to a theater...the meaning of your time together is as important as ever.

Your sadness about future children not knowing their grandmother is also understandable. The anticipation of becoming a mother without your own mother to share the experience can be emotionally overwhelming. I hope that when the time comes for you to have kids you will find ways to share stories of your mom & help them to know how much she would have treasured them. If you find that your feelings about this or any other issue are too much to manage on your own, I encourage you to talk to one of the counselors on your hospice team. He or she can help you identify coping strategies and other supports.

My best to you as you share this time with your mother.
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