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April 14, 1975

Anticipatory Grief

Author Affiliations

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Springfield

JAMA. 1975;232(2):194-195. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250020060038

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The Realization of Death: A Guide for the Psychological Autopsy, by Avery D. Weisman, 207 pp, $10, New York, Jason Aronson, 1974.

Anticipatory grief is the emotional phenomenon of bereavement prior to the actual loss of a loved one. It is important for health care workers to understand it as a clinical symptom in order to identify those high-risk individuals in whom prolonged or maladaptive grief reactions may subsequently develop.

Fifty-nine researchers have contributed to the Schoenberg volume. The essays are varied both in content and quality. Some of them are already dated. But as a whole, the volume is a significant addition to the growing literature on enlightened health care for the terminally ill patient and his family. No small credit must go to The Foundation of Thanatology, which sponsored the volume.

Avery Weisman's contribution, "Is Mourning Necessary?" is one of the better essays and his title captures the