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    How does one get ready for knowing that someone’s end is near? My niece is a special needs child and is in the ICU and the doctors told my sister to get ready because this is most likely the end. I know that there is Hashem above who controls the world and miracles are possible and at the same time when we are being told that the end is so close what am I supposed to think. My emotions are running high and I don’t know what I am “supposed” to feel…

    Dear I_am_ok,

    I was so sorry to read your post and hear what you and your family are going through. May HKBH grant you strength to endure whatever lies ahead.

    Here are a few of my thoughts on anticipatory loss and impending grief.

    In these types of situations, there are lots of overwhelming emotions such as sadness, anger, numbness, disbelief, guilt, and rage. There can be nausea, confusion, and body aches.  THIS IS ALL NORMAL. They come and go, and can feel like tidal waves. Little can be done to head them off or stop them. The numbness can feel like….nothing/blankness, which is a very difficult feeling as well. Often, simple, daily activities can become a huge challenge.

    Even when one is ‘prepared’, the intensity and duration of the feelings are there. There is no right way and no wrong way to grieve, and everyone grieves differently. Your way is the right way for you.

    For some helpful tips, I would advise you to have lots and lots of patience, compassion, and self-love for yourself in this difficult time. This would include, but is not limited to: acknowledging your fear and loss to yourself, your journal, and a trusted other, have understanding and patience for yourself, accepting that you have no control over the situation, allowing yourself to just BE, doing some type of gentle self care like crying, journaling, a walk outside, and/or something healthy to eat, keeping to a simple routine that reinforce safety and stability for you, and accepting the reality that this is incredibly difficult and that you will get through this.

    Wishing you and your family all the very best in the times to come,

    Zipa Leah Scheinberg, LCSW

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    Thank you @Fay and @Michalli for answering my question in the live on Tuesday. Also thank you @Zipa Leah for your kind response. Unfortunately my niece passed away on Friday night. Right now I feel completely numb. I can’t even cry. I’m not angry, not grieving, nothing, just plain numb. It doesn’t even make sense. I feel the need to cry yet I can’t….

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    I am so so incredibly sorry for your really painful loss. I can only but try to relate to your pain, I lost my precious twin sister just over half a year ago after a long illness. From personal experience, grief is so so hard… and its totally normal what you are feeling… I still feel like that on some days, it totally goes in waves  and I’m by no means through it yet… There are five accepted stages of grief  “denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance”  and I go in and out of all them at different times… From personal experience, the best thing you can do for yourself is try and get yourself some support (from your family, friends, a therapist – whatever you find to be supportive) to help you get through this and ride the waves. You also need to give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling, whatever you are feeling – is okay! I’m totally here for you, cuz I totally know how it feels…

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