Grieving in a pandemic

Updated: Mar 27

Grieving is a mourning the loss of something or someone. You can grieve the loss of a loved one, a relationship, the loss of a job. In a global pandemic there are more people grieving than usual with such a high death figure from Covid-19. Restrictions on funeral goers and a bombardment of continuous morbidity from the media, only makes grieving more difficult. The collective loss of our normal daily lives is one we all have to process and with restrictions changing weekly it can be hard for anyone to get their heads around. There are many types of losses during the pandemic which can trigger grief and these include,

v Death

v Loss of job

v Loss of safety

v Financial anxiety

v Worry about loved ones

v Social distancing

v Quarantining/isolation

v Changes in daily routines

v Special events cancelled

v Fears for the future

v Not being able to see loved ones

v Sadness thinking about the effects of the pandemic

v Not being able to engage with friends

Not only do we have to grapple with the loss of normalcy but there is also a possibility of struggling with anticipatory grief, and this is where you feel the dreaded feeling of a greater loss to come. This type of grief is typically triggered by a loved one suffering with a terminal illness, however in the back drop of COVID-19 apprehension about the long term or short terms effects the pandemic may have on life itself. In addition to anticipatory grief that people may be dealing with grief from the unexpected death of a loved one. In times before the pandemic we could turn to our loved ones for support, since the pandemic hit there have been restrictions on house visits and even funerals and can exacerbate emotions linked to grieving such as feelings of guilt, lack of closure, loss of traditions, and feelings of isolation.

It is imperative to remember that grief is a completely normal reaction to loss, which we all go through at some point in life and usually includes, shock, sadness, anger, numbness and anxiety. Some signs that someone may be finding it hard to deal with grief in the pandemic;

v Not being able to focus on tasks

v Disturbed sleeping patterns (too much or too little)

v Difficulty regulating anger

v Migraines

v Digestive issues

v Low energy

v Avoidance

People are usually quite resilient in the face of grief and once the initial crisis can adapt and reach a place of acceptance. The pandemic is long and arduous and may you may feel like you can not get through this. Here are some tips to help you process grief during the times of Covid-19;

v Practice self-care

v Give yourself time

v Remind yourself feelings and emotions are valid

v Reach out to family and friends (maybe FaceTime, zoom, letters if you cannot visit)

v Find support (online support groups available through pandemic)

v Explore coping mechanisms

v Counselling

If you are grieving through the pandemic and looking for further help in the way of one-to-one counselling sessions feel free to contact us at Therapeutic Counselling at 01209718246/ 07974 845549.

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