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  • Writer's pictureJason Ranieri

Grief And Bereavement During A Pandemic

This pandemic has complicated bereavement and grieving. There are many factors that contribute to this. Some of those factors include, fear of the virus, economic insecurity, inability to be present with a loved one who is sick and dying of COVID-19, and restrictions on how many people can be present during funeral services. Then, we also have physical distancing and shelter-in-place orders that prevent us from being physically present with family and friends when we need them most.

Some things to do to help with bereavement and grieving:

Recognize the challenges It will help to keep in mind that grieving during this time is more challenging than at any other time. You have lots of other stress that drains your energy. You need to allow yourself to be exactly where you are. No one expects you to be functioning at your best right now, and neither should you expect this of yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

Connect in whatever way you can Our physical isolation makes it difficult to feel connected to others as it is. And, with current technology, it’s easier than ever to contact loved ones and friends for support. It can be difficult to reach out when you are deep in grief. Do your best to connect with others. Call people on the phone. Use social media. Get on a video chat app and spend time with others over video. It’s necessary to remain connected when faced with grief and bereavement. Support is key.

Spend time actually grieving Don’t run away from your grief. You can try to distract yourself with all kinds of activities, substances, etc. And, if you don’t experience your grief and honor it, you won’t be able to move through the grief to emerge transformed.

Do self-care While you must actually grieve, you cannot and should not spend your time grieving. Get out and take a walk (and maintain physical distance). Do an exercise routine inside. Cook a good meal and eat it. Take a long bath. Read a good book. Your loved one would have wanted you to continue to live your life even while you are grieving for them.

Turn off the news Limit your time watching, reading, or listening to the news. You don’t need extra reminders of sickness and death at this time. Pay attention only enough so you know what you need to know to keep yourself and others safe.

Also, feel free to watch my video on the Kubler-Ross Model of The 5 Stages of Grief:


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