This post was written by Brien, who is a pet bereavement counsellor from Pet Loss Canada.
Recently I have been working very intensively with a family that is experiencing Anticipatory Grief. Many of us are aware that, if practiced in the proper way and with guidance, the overall experience may lead to a reduction in post-mortem grieving and mourning. BUT, simply because individuals and families have the opportunity to become aware of what is to come, can have its own tragic turns. For, one thing that we do know for certain, is that if Anticipatory Grief goes on for an extended period of time it can be incredibly counter-productive for all concerned. Such is the case in the family I am working with at this time. What was to be a one to two week duration to life’s termination has become six weeks. The initial grieving has turned to some helpless anger and depression; the expectation of “moving forward” with life without the dying one has not occurred and has led to incredible complications which require every ounce of skill that a skilled counsellor can muster.
I would advise you all that you not enter a phase of Anticipatory Grief until there is COMPLETE EVIDENCE that there are firm understandings of physical conditions of all concerned.
Brien is from Pet Loss Canada, where he has taught college courses in communications, crisis / conflict management and law. Brien has also provided support and counselling to people in long term care facilities, hospices, families in crisis and has extensive experience in the fields of grief and mourning. He is in considerable demand as a motivational speaker and, most significantly, as a pastoral care counsellor. He holds credentials in the following areas: BA- Social Communications / Law. Diplomas and Certifications in: Hospice, Palliative Care and Family Counselling environments, Grief and Mourning, Comprehensive Bereavement, Crisis Resolution, Behavioural and Lifespan Psychology, Advanced Behavioral / Personality Psychosocial Symptomology, Clinical Pastoral Education, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Diversity (Sociology) and advanced Sociology and Social Integration. Most recently a College Honour’s List Graduate in Human Services and Member of Ontario Bereavement Association. Brien is also an accredited Chaplain who provides spiritual and pastoral care in an ecumenical style.