Year: 2022 Source: Death Studies. (1998). 22(6), 541-569. doi: 10.1080/074811898201399. SIEC No: 20220655

The purpose of the present investigation was to compare the degree of similarity between the grief experienced by spouses of terminally-ill patients prior to (anticipatory grief) and following the death (conventional grief). Responses of this sample were also compared with those of two control groups: spouses of chronically-ill patients and spouses of relatively healthy individuals from the community. The impact of such factors as the quality of the marital relationship, perceived ability to cope, concurrent stressors, previous losses, perceived social support, and perception of spouse’s pain and suffering on anticipatory and conventional grief was also systematically explored. Results indicated that these two phenomena are statistically similar with regard to the majority of subscales on the Grief Experience Inventory. Furthermore, when compared with conventional grief, anticipatory grief was unexpectedly associated with higher intensities of anger, loss of emotional control, and atypical grief responses.