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Top 7 Anticipatory Grief Quotes

Anticipatory Grief Quotes

This post contains some of the best anticipatory grief quotes.

What Is Anticipatory Grief?

Anticipatory grief, also referred to as anticipatory loss or preparatory grief, is the feeling that we experience in the days, months or even years before an impending loss.

Situations that may provoke anticipatory grief include, end-of-life care, diagnosis or progression of a degenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or Parkinson’s disease, cancer risk, leaving home for college, leaving a job or relationship, etc.

Related: Best 21 Grief Journaling Prompts (+FREE Grief Worksheets PDF)

Anticipatory Grief Quotes

1. “Anticipatory grief is like being in a small sailboat in a storm at sea. The turbulence and unpredictability would have to be dealt with, since they were not in my control. I could pretend perhaps for short periods of time that I was not in a storm, but reality kept intruding. Practical advice would keep me afloat. If I could accept all my feelings, take care of myself, manage my time commitments, let others help, I would survive. I did not doubt that. But what direction was I supposed to be trying to sail in when I had the choice? I knew I could not just drop anchor and wait out the storm; for better or for worse, that was not my style. Was I supposed to be readying myself for relinquishment? And of what? Surely of Mother’s earthly presence and all the things I associated with that. But would I have to give up everything? Was decathexis really the goal?” – Donna S. Davenport

2. ““anticipatory” is a misnomer: we are grieving not just the anticipated future death, but also losses that have already occurred in the past and are occurring in the present.” – Donna S. Davenport

3. “Saying that I was experiencing “anticipatory grief” would not have come close to capturing all the nuances and struggles, unique for me, as it is for everyone.” – Donna S. Davenport

4. “Knowing ahead of time before someone dies does not necessarily mean that anticipatory grief is taking place: some people keep the implications of an impending death at such a distance that they feel few specific emotions.” – Donna S. Davenport

5. “Caregiving is not the same as anticipatory grief, although writers often confuse the processes.” – Donna S. Davenport

6. “For those struggling with grief, there’s no timetable. It can last months, years, or longer. There is no rush. Give yourself permission to take however long it may be to fully heal from your loss.” ― Dana Arcuri

7. “Understand there’s no right or wrong way to grieve, including anticipatory grief. It’s like the ocean. It ebbs and it flows. There can be moments of calm. But out of nowhere, it can feel like you’re drowning.” ― Dana Arcuri

Related: Best +30 Grief Activities For Adults (+FREE Worksheets PDF)

Grief WorkSheets

What Does Grief Feel Like In The Body?

Grief not only affects our emotional well-being but can also manifest in physical ways. Here are some common physical experiences that individuals may encounter during the grieving process:

1. Fatigue and lethargy: Grief can be exhausting, and many individuals report feeling extremely fatigued and lacking energy. This can be attributed to the emotional toll grief takes on the body, as well as the difficulty in sleeping or disrupted sleep patterns often experienced during this time.

2. Aches and pains: Grief can manifest as physical discomfort, such as headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, or general body aches. These symptoms can be related to stress, tension, and the body’s physiological response to grief.

3. Changes in appetite: Grief can affect our appetite, leading to changes in eating habits. Some individuals may experience reduced appetite and weight loss, while others may turn to food for comfort, resulting in increased appetite and weight gain.

4. Weakened immune system: The stress of grief can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illness and infections. They may find themselves getting sick more frequently or taking longer to recover from illnesses.

5. Sleep disturbances: Grief often disrupts sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing vivid and distressing dreams. Lack of quality sleep can further contribute to fatigue and impact overall well-being.

It is important to note that these physical experiences can vary from person to person.

If you are experiencing any physical symptoms during your grieving process, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions and to discuss ways to manage these symptoms effectively.

How Do You Survive Grief?

Surviving grief is a challenging and deeply personal process. While everyone’s experience is unique, there are some general strategies that can help individuals navigate through their grief:

1. Allow Yourself to Grieve: Recognize that grief is a normal and natural response to loss. Give yourself permission to experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, or confusion. Allow yourself the space and time to mourn.

2. Seek Support: Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or support groups who can provide a listening ear and offer comfort. Sharing your feelings with others who have experienced similar losses can be immensely helpful in making you feel understood and less alone.

3. Take Care of Yourself: Grief takes a toll on both the emotional and physical aspects of your well-being. It’s important to prioritize self-care. Ensure you’re getting enough rest, eating healthily, engaging in regular exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

4. Express Your Feelings: Find healthy outlets to express your emotions. This might include journaling, creating art, engaging in physical activities, or talking to a therapist. Expressing your feelings can help you make sense of your grief and promote healing.

5. Establish Rituals or Memorials: Creating rituals or memorials that honor your loved one can be comforting. Light a candle, plant a tree, or create a memory box filled with mementos. These acts can help you maintain a connection and keep cherished memories alive.

6. Seek Professional Help: If you find that your grief is overwhelming, lasting for an extended period, interfering with daily functioning, or causing severe distress, consider seeking professional help from a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist or therapist. They can provide specialized guidance, support, and therapeutic interventions tailored to your unique needs.


The grieving process is not linear, and it doesn’t have a set timeframe. Give yourself grace and patience as you navigate through your grief journey, and remember, you don’t have to go through it alone.

By Hadiah

Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.

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