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  1. Has this happened to anyone? That anticipatory grief fades into the background as you settle into a routine and a new grim reality? I think it is happening to me, and I feel somewhat guilty about it. At the same time, I feel like the reaction must be protecting me from burnout, etc. that is such a part of long lasting anticipatory grief. I have only known that my mother is terminally ill with a tumor in her lung and brain for about a month (which was also when she found out), though warning signs were there even earlier. It was horrifying and terrible every day, all day for about three weeks. Now that I've moved her in with my husband and I and we have her settled into a kind of routine and I've returned to work for a few days, all of this is starting to feel horrifyingly normal. I can no longer feel the sharpness and desperation of the situation. I can even talk about it without crying very much. Am I a sociopath? How can I have come to accept my mother's death so soon? She is only 62. She is one of my best friends. Am I forgetting that, and thinking of it only as losing the sick, diminished person by my side today? One possibility is that as soon as she experiences a precipitous decline I am going to feel it sharply again. I kind of hope that I can get the feeling back. I worry that I will regret not showing her my pain, lest she think she is unloved. She has always been very insecure about how much my brother and I truly love her. All this is complicated by the fact that she has expressive aphasia caused by the brain tumor, so can not communicate much verbally. The brain tumor is also affecting her concentration, I suspect her emotions (which are unusually muted), and who knows what else. When I try to bring up remotely serious topics she just says "Come on, Erin." As in, "why are you bothering me with this? I just want to watch mindless, harmless reality TV." As I write this, I am tearing up a little bit. I can't indulge the feeling because I'm at work. Maybe I've just been shoving the feeling down so completely that it seems like it's not there, but it will come roaring back. As I said, I kind of hope that it does. My mom deserves for people to rage at the fact of her untimely death. I would love to hear whether others have experienced the same emotional fade and conflicting thoughts about it.
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