Death is mysterious. We don’t know what’s on the other side, even though we know it happens in an instant, in the blink of an eye, a person may have ceased to live.
There are deaths that surprise us, that we never expected and that cause us all kinds of unknowns, feelings and thoughts, experiences that will shape the duel in the face of this loss, more intense if it is to cause of the death of a loved one.
However, there are cases where deaths are virtually announced, especially if the person believed to be dying soon is very ill or has a terminal illness.
In these cases, relatives and even the patient accept the idea that the end is near and prepare for this experience. They live an early duel, a duel for a person still alive. Let’s take a closer look at the peculiarities of this type of mourning.
What is the planned duel?
The expected duel is the process some people go through before a loved one dies or is confirmed dead. It is said that various circumstances indicate that a loved one, such as a family member, partner or friend, will soon die.
So we can say that it is like conventional grief, but instead of happening after the death of a loved one, we do it knowing that this event is about to happen.
The emotions felt throughout anticipated grief can be as intense as those that would be felt in grieving following recent and sudden loss. The difference here is that people who experience it can better prepare for the death of their loved one, deal with the emotions it elicits and also solve unresolved problems by making the most of the time left with your loved one, such as apologizing for past mistakes or spending time together and remembering happy times.
As a rule, this type of mourning appears in the following two cases.
Being loved in the terminal phase
The most common case of early grief occurs when a loved one suffers from a chronic, terminal illness, such as certain types of cancer, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors and other caregivers of the patient have already informed the family that the patient will die within a very short time.
It is for this reason that loved ones begin to assess the loss, or at least some aspects of the loss, before death occurs.
Large-scale disappearances and accidents
The second hypothesis, and this is not so common, is when a loved one goes missing under strange or violent circumstances, and it is not certain whether or not she is still alive.
The family, while not giving up hope, anticipates that the person has already passed away in some way or another, and they try to get a feel for the possibility. This is the case for large-scale disappearances and accidents (eg air disasters, shipwrecks, etc.) in which the total number of victims is delayed.
Emotions experienced in anticipation of bereavement
Dueling is not experienced in the same way for everyone, but it is an experience with peculiarities and unique experiences related to aspects such as the relationship with the deceased, the individual characteristics of the evil and also traumatic death.
In the case of early bereavement, it is even more diverse, as evidenced by the fact that we cannot speak of single and universal phases in this case as it is suggested in cases of conventional mourning.
Some of the main emotions and thoughts that arise during anticipated grief include:
Anxiety and stress.
- Fear of uncertainty.
- Emotional numbness.
- Lack of concentration.
Advantages and disadvantages of early bereavement
The anticipated duel emerges in preparation for what will inevitably come to pass. Even if one is psychologically prepared for the death of a loved one, it is difficult that the time has come not to end up affecting them, but luckily if there has been prior preparation contributes to the bereavement after the death. death is more bearable, the emotions that wake up are better managed and there is less risk of long-term emotional sequelae.
We can highlight a number of advantages to living a precocious duel:
- Gradually recognize the reality of the loss.
- Solve open issues and unfinished business now that time is of the essence.
- Change aspects of yourself, value the present and make the most of the time you have left.
- Prepare for loss with gradual emotional release and the ability to express emotions.
- Plan for that person’s future.
However, some authors also consider that early bereavement can cause some inconvenience in the event of poor management:
- This causes exaggerated concern.
- Loss is anticipated before it happens, which can lead to more anxiety and prevent you from enjoying the present.
- Depressive symptoms can occur.
- One of the reactions to awareness of imminent death is to give up and not enjoy the life that is left, both your own and that of the dying one.
- She interferes with care, feeling that there is nothing more to do, and deprives the patient of care and emotional support, wishing the end to come as soon as possible.
- There is a risk of patient abandonment.
How to deal with anticipated bereavement?
It is crucial to understand that grieving, whether anticipated or not, is a healthy and normal process. when someone or something is lost. While in this particular case we are talking about bereavement caused by the death of a loved one, what should be clear to us is that the negative emotions experienced are not pathological, but are the totally healthy reaction that the person experiences. ‘we feel he has lost something. Grief is felt when one feels that he has lost something, that his life has changed so much that he has to adapt to the new reality.
This is a normal reaction to early bereavement, although it can affect our daily well-being. As we mentioned before, getting used to the idea of the death of a loved one can help us enjoy the time we have left and resolve any conflicts, discussions or bad memories we have had with them. get that before that. world, all that remains to be resolved is resolved once and for all.
The pain of grieving early is inevitable, and it’s better to go through it now than not after the death of this loved one. The mind must prepare for loss and bereavement is a process of adaptation, an opportunity to manage what is happening. If this is done before the final event occurs, which is nothing more than the death of that loved one, the post-death pain will be more bearable, brief, and less likely to leave emotional scars.
However, it must be said that while you shouldn’t try to escape the pain associated with anticipating grief, that doesn’t mean you should just fold your arms and let go. There are a number of strategies that can be put in place to make this time less intense and traumatic., that emotions are better managed and that it degenerates into depression.
You just need to be more discriminating in helping others. Sharing it with other family members and those close to the sick person can help you have a better time. Revealing our emotions, worries, feelings, and thoughts can help us see that other loved ones have them too, and will serve to receive and support them.
Although these are difficult times, we must not give up or give up. Our physical and psychological health are aspects that must be taken care of, especially during this period.. You need to get enough sleep, exercise frequently, eat right, and connect with your friends. We don’t have to feel guilty about enjoy and enjoy our life while our loved one is dying. The disease is taking its toll, not us.
In the event that early bereavement is caused by the disappearance of a loved one, it is essential to go to a psychologist. The cases of disappearances and serious accidents where the corpse of the loved one has not yet been found are very delicate and traumatic situations. In these cases, it is essential to receive specialized psychological help in this type of situation.
The main thing above all, and in the case of a sick person who will soon no longer be with us, is to spend time with them. If there is something that needs to be forgiven or excused, now is the best time to do it. It’s also a great time to say what we want, how much we appreciate it and to remember happy times together.