Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Anticipatory Grief

  • Gilbert FanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_1006-1



Anticipatory grief is about grieving and adapting to a loss before it occurs (Aldrich 1974; Reynolds and Botha 2006; Coelho and Barbosa 2017). The term “anticipatory mourning” is sometimes used to describe this process before a death occurs (Margolis et al. 1988; Zielberfein 1999). Preparing for a loss such as a death signifies accepting the inevitability of the loss. The inevitability of a loss is not anticipatory grief in itself (Glick et al. 1974). Anticipatory grief is an active psychological process of thoughts and emotions that connotes a range of intensified emotional responses towards an impending loss. These heightened emotions may include “separation anxiety, existential aloneness, denial, sadness, disappointment, anger, resentment, guilt, exhaustion and desperation” (Cincotta 2004, p. 325). There must be an opportunity to anticipate a loss or death. This applies to both the dying and significant others (Rando 1986...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Supportive & Palliative CareNational Cancer Centre SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amy Chow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Work & Social AdministrationThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina