Covid-19 has changed our lives in ways many of us could never have imagined, and even mourning the loss of a loved one has been dramatically altered. With the virus causing more people to die who might otherwise have remained alive, friends and family members are struggling to comprehend the situation and deal with their grief.
Tragically, many victims of the virus are dying alone and without physical contact from loved ones due to physical distancing measures and strict hospital regulations regarding visitors, and this can be incredibly hard for friends and relatives to come to terms with.
Here are a few helpful tips if you, or someone you know, is finding it hard to deal with the grief of losing a loved one during the pandemic:
- Pick up the phone
Whether you’re calling a good friend or family member, or planning to talk to a counselor, make a list of who you plan to contact and when. Regular contact with loved ones will help you to feel better connected, and you could even make plans to call any vulnerable or isolated people that you know.
- The grieving process
Mourning the loss of someone you love is deeply important, and you simply might not be able to give the grieving process the time and attention it deserves under such conditions. However, allow yourself to grieve whenever it comes up, and reassure yourself that, once the crisis has eased, you’ll also pay your respects to that person’s memory in whatever way you choose.
- Seek professional help if you’re unable to cope with your bereavement
We all deal with grief in different ways but being able to talk to someone who will listen to how you’re feeling, can be immensely therapeutic. When someone dies, there is no shame in seeking help for yourself and in finding ways to deal with your own grief, and often, a healthcare professional who has been trained to deal with bereavement, is the best person to help you as you move through your loss.
While the pandemic has forced many healthcare facilities to close their doors to the public, many are offering tele-health services and can be reached by telephone, video link or email around the clock.
- Try not to harbor feelings of guilt
The death of a loved one, or even of an acquaintance, can often make us feel guilty that we didn’t do enough for them, or that we are alive, while they are not: survivor guilt. The latter feeling of guilt can be overwhelming and it can be hard to know how to get past it. If you find yourself struggling here, a bereavement counsellor or therapist can help you with this.
Death is a reality for all of us, but in these difficult times, it can be an even harder reality to come to terms with. Coping with grief and bereavement is a journey, but it isn’t one that you must make on your own, and while the pandemic rages on unabated, help is out there for you.
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