When is it okay to begin to grieve? As soon as we become aware of a loss. For some of us the death has already occurred before we learn of it. We begin to grieve as soon as we know our precious one is gone. But, what about those times when our precious one is diagnosed with a lingering terminal illness? Do we wait until the death is pronounced, or may we grieve with our precious one the life we will miss sharing together? What if it is our diagnosis of a terminal illness? Are we allowed to grieve the anniversaries we will never share, the weddings we will never attend, the graduations we will never celebrate? These are anticipatory grief. The final life ending loss has not yet occurred, but we know and we mourn. Anticipatory grief can allow us to share our feelings of loss with the one we are losing, yes but it also allows us to express to them the great love we feel for them. If it is our own life that is coming to a close, anticipatory grief allows us to express into the future the love we want our family and friends to remember. Anticipatory grief, then, is both trial and gift. We do not want to extend our grief, but we do get to celebrate with our precious ones our lives together and our love. Blessings.