Unconventional Grief: Grieving someone Alive

This blog post is about “grieving for someone alive,” which the author describes as different from “anticipatory grief.”  (Sure seems like they are splitting hairs!)  Grieving for someone alive is often “caused by a loved one becoming someone that you no longer know or recognize.”  This is also called “unconventional grief” or “ambiguous grief” in this blog post.

Here are some excerpts:

* “A person will experience many emotions while grieving someone alive. …  Anger is a prominent emotion that shows up. … While experiencing anger, you may feel guilty as well that you are experiencing anger or guilty that you cannot control or change the situation.”

* “Unlike when someone dies, you are unlikely to experience positive emotions while grieving someone alive. When someone passes, you are surrounded by the comfort of their loved ones and are often able to look at the joy of their life. This rarely happens with unconventional or ambiguous grief.”

* Five tips are offered for grieving someone alive:
– “Let yourself grieve. ”
– “Find other people in the same situation.”
– “Don’t forget your memories or the past.”
– “Open yourself up to change.”
– “Always remember that the illness is not the person.”

Here’s a link to the blog post:


Unconventional Grief: Grieving someone Alive
The American Academy of Bereavement
posted on October 20, 2015