Chapter 1: Grief responses to suffering and death

Anticipating future losses

An encounter with death may stimulate anticipatory grief regarding future losses you foresee in your life. This includes losses such as the impending death of someone close; the dissolution of a personal relationship; the breakup of a business partnership; or the termination of a long-term paramedic partnership. There’s often anxiety associated with future unknowns, and with future losses in particular.

Reflective exercise

Whose death do you anticipate will be most difficult for you? 

Is there anything you can or need to do about that now? 

What messages have you received or what lessons have you learned about loss and grief from your own life? 

When you think about how you’ve responded to past losses in your life, what was most helpful? 

What wasn’t so helpful? 

What have you done to ensure your family members know your preferences for end-of-life care? 

What do you need to know about your family members’ preferences?