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Keywords

anticipatory grief, anticipatory mourning, caregivers, grief

 

Authors

  1. D'Antonio, Jocelyn PhD, RN

Abstract

Caring for a dying loved one can be difficult and challenging, and grief is often a constant companion. The grief of caregivers is complex and often greater in intensity than the grief experienced after the death. Caregivers grieve and mourn losses that have already occurred as a result of the illness, and they grieve and mourn anticipated losses that are yet to come after the death. A lack of adequate support during this time of predeath grieving can have a lasting effect on the overall long-term bereavement journey of a caregiver after their loved one dies. Hospice nurses often interact with caregivers more than any other member of the interdisciplinary team. Therefore, it is important for them to identify grief and mourning in caregivers and to initiate and deliver appropriate interventions that ensure the best possible outcome for the caregivers to whom they give care.