Chapter 3: Grief and bereavement
The patient may be grieving losses they experience as the illness progresses while also anticipating the loss of their future with the people they care about. The family may be grieving the impending death of someone important in their lives and the changes the death will bring.
Grief and anticipatory grief responses can be very similar and can range in severity from mild to intense distress. Generally, the closer to death the more pronounced the emotional reaction.
Common responses to grief
- Emotions such as sadness, guilt, anger and hopelessness.
- A loss of connection to one’s social network.
- Changes in behaviour.
- Changes in the way we think and perceive the world.