I heard a term used this week that really resonated in my soul, both in my long career as a Nurse, and personally. The term was anticipatory grief. I’ve seen this in couples where one of the spouse was dying of cancer. I’ve seen it in Alzheimer Units I’ve managed when the patient can no longer recognize their loved ones and the ravages of the disease process are quickly taking everything else. I experienced it myself that day the Cardiologist told my husband to go home and put his affairs in order. Anticipatory grief is waiting for the other shoe to fall…it’s attempting to prepare for the unknown, not knowing what that is, or what it will even look like. Anticipatory grief will make you hit the Pause button…everything stops…everything is on hold. For a time there is no future…there is no hope…you go into combat mode just to survive. But we can’t stay in combat mode forever…the stress is too overwhelming. We are creatures that need hope to survive…what ever the face of hope is. ” One day at a time” , isn’t just a saying…it’s way to manage anticipatory grief, and the future, whatever it will be.