Coping with Grief in Times of COVID-19
Coping with grief as a result of a bereavement is always hard. However, in these difficult times of Coronavirus losing someone and coping with your emotions can be even harder.
Why is coping with grief harder now?
There are several reasons. First, if the person that you are mourning died of COVID-19 you probably were not able to say you last goodbyes. Due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, many people have not been able to be with their loved ones in their last moments. This can be very hard to accept and can leave you with a sense of incompletion.
Additionally, due to current restrictions, it may not be possible to dispose of these bodies in the way that you or the deceased would have wanted. That means that the religious ceremonies that you expected to accompany the death are not able to occur. This can create a feeling of anxiety particularly in people with strong religious convictions.
Also, losing someone to coronavirus can come as a huge shock. Many apparently healthy people are being taken from us quickly without giving those left time to adjust. Some people may feel angry that this has happened or experience a sense of helplessness.
The crisis is causing us to have to deal with new emotions and feelings.
Other deaths during the crisis
Being with people who are approaching death due to causes other than Coronavirus can also be difficult at this time. Hospitals, care homes, and hospices have different policies to protect their staff, patients, and visitors. If you can visit, you may have to wear protective clothing, a mask, and observe social distancing. This will obviously change the way in which you can say goodbye to your friend or loved one.
If a visit is not possible you may be able to bid them farewell with a video call or by phone. This can never be the same, but we need to adapt to the reality in which we find ourselves. Additionally, we have to do everything possible to contain the spread of the virus and to prevent more deaths.
Funerals of people who die from COVID and from other causes at this time are also affected. It is not possible to gather with family and friends to mourn a departed loved one. The support that those closest to the deceased normally experience from this is now absent. Click here to find out the latest government guidelines regarding funerals.
If you cremate your loved one you can keep the ashes in a special urn in your home for comfort. Later on you can celebrate their life or have the funeral.
Help and support
You can not seek help and support in person at the moment but there are many online services to help. Here are a few options, please reach out to them.