Anticipatory, or 'living' grief, is when someone experiences feelings of loss before a person dies – possibly long before the actual time of death.

This NHS Education for Scotland video highlights how health and social care professionals can recognise and support those experiencing anticipatory grief. Although this video is aimed at health professionals, family members may also find it useful to understand what anticipatory grief is and how best to support their loved ones.

Most of us think of grief as something which happens after a death, but when a loved one receives a terminal diagnosis, grief can begin right there and then. All the feelings and thoughts experienced at this time can be just as intense and difficult as those after a death.

Anticipatory Grief

If you or your family are experiencing anticipatory grief, you may find more support from these agencies: