How to mourn the loss of a loved one from Covid-19?
Resume: You could be angry, annoyed, helpless because you didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. The death of your loved one may have come suddenly and it can be overwhelming. Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be distressing at any time and even more so during the pandemic. We understand how difficult it can be to lose someone we love and we are here to help you grieve the loss of a loved one to COVID-19 by adopting meaningful grieving practices.
Talk to our counselors now to grieve the right way
Everyone processes the loss of a loved one differently. That said, everyone’s way of dealing with and grieving a loss is completely subjective and normal. The nature of the virus is highly contagious, making it impossible to say goodbye in person. This leaves most of us in a state of distress as we don’t get the time to process and shut down, which has increasingly led to an increase in depression and anxiety.
We are here to help you understand the grieving process of the loss of a loved one and the importance of grieving, especially during an overwhelming time like this.
What is mourning?
According to the American Psychological Association, grief can be explained as an intense emotional and physical reaction that a person experiences after the death of a loved one. You can experience the following:
5 stages of mourning
This is by far the most natural coping mechanism we use. Our first reaction to the loss of a loved one is shock and a lack of acceptance of the death. This is also the stage where we ask ourselves existential questions and experience the world as completely meaningless. We may also experience a feeling of numbness, and the goal is to just get through the days.
This falls under the spectrum of primitive emotions from childhood, and this emotion is also familiar to all of us. This stage is very important during grieving. The more you start to get angry, the more your anger will disappear and the more you will heal. You might also question your school of faith, which means you are in pain. Anger can be very helpful if you structure it and let it grieve you like an anchor.
During this grieving stage, you ask a lot of “What if” questions. “What if I had tried harder” “What if I had never dated” etc… During this phase, guilt will also accompany you. You can see yourself shifting from what-ifs and if only. Losing a loved one is a depressing phase and it is completely normal to feel this way.
In this phase empty feelings appear and you may have little energy. You would think that this phase is permanent and that it can occur in your professional and personal life. While this stage does not reflect the clinical symptoms of depression, it is important to be aware of troubling symptoms and to seek help.
At this stage of grieving, acceptance does not mean that all is well or that you are completely cured. It just means you can rationalize what happened. It is believed that you can never fully accept their passing, but will eventually slowly try to find meaning in the loss.
Although the above mentioned are listed chronologically, it is not certain that the same pattern is followed. Sometimes you can experience all these phases at once. Then it is extremely important to use coping mechanisms and immediately seek professional help.
Here are some tips to help you grieve the loss of a loved one to COVID-19
#1 Realize that everyone else grieves for loss
Some process the loss by crying about it, some by talking about it, some bury themselves at work, etc. So it is extremely important to understand your way of dealing with guilt and don’t let others decide how to grieve
#2 Only open and address it when you are ready
It’s okay to weigh your feelings and act on them when you’re ready. If you feel judged by a family member or if you don’t think your support system can handle you as much, talk to a professional who will help you manage your grief.
#3 Make yourself vulnerable
You’ve probably heard people ask, “Be strong for your family.” You really don’t have to feel pressured to stay strong. Being vulnerable can help you grieve better.
#4 Let people in
You will realize your true support system in a time of need. These could be people you grew up with or never interacted with. Be open and let people in so you can lean on them.
#5 Normalize Abort
It’s totally okay to break down and not attach any meaning to it. If you’re feeling emotional, it’s okay to be vulnerable, and this in turn will help you heal.
#6 Cherish memories of your loved one
Replaying precious memories can help you stay in touch with them, and it can also help you identify that one characteristic of your loved one. This will be a good indicator to promote the positive pockets of happiness.
#7 Pick a target
Choose a quality of your loved one for example: to be nice to others, follow this as a golden rule. By taking this simple step, you can continue the legacy and manifest pockets of positivity.
#8 Watch your thoughts
Beware of thoughts and behaviors that distract you from your healing process and take immediate action before things get out of hand.
#9 Talk to a professional
If you do not succeed in all of the above steps, seek professional help immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. I feel extremely depressed and cannot bear the loss of a loved one. What should I do?
A. We are very sorry you are experiencing this and it is not fair. Experiencing a low mood is normal and to be expected in a time like this. But if you have disturbing thoughts and harmful ideas, please contact our therapists immediately.
Q. I don’t know how to grieve the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.
A. This can be an extremely painful experience and we cannot comprehend the magnitude of the pain and suffering you are going through. It’s best to open up and talk to people you feel most comfortable with, or just tap the link above and let a professional help you through this difficult time.
Q. How can I tell my social circle that their advice is not helping?
A. Drawing boundaries for your mental peace is extremely important. You can start by saying, “Thank you. I appreciate it and I’ll grieve when I’m ready.”