What It's Like To Lose A Loved One During This Pandemic

3 Mins read

We are, without a doubt, living in an unprecedented time. So many of our practices and routines have been interrupted by this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. With so many important events being canceled, there's definitely enough grief and sadness to go around as we mourn all that we're missing. This disappointment and heartbreak, however, pales compared to if you lose a loved one during this difficult time. Those who have experienced reduction in the midst of this pandemic have not been able to celebrate their loved ones' lives as they normally would have. The question of “How do we grieve?” becomes increasingly hard to answer.

The notion of loss during this pandemic has been on my heart since this all started. However, it became extremely personal and real in my experience last week. One of my close relatives passed away suddenly, and it came as a significant shock. Luckily, it was not related to the pandemic, but it does not make it any less hard. Due to social distancing, I am unable to be with my family. We cannot celebrate his life once we want to until all of this is over. This experience has made me ask this question: How do I mourn the loss of someone I love without a funeral or even the support of my family?

Grief during any time isn't one size fits all – everyone experiences loss differently and copes in their own way.

Personally, channeling pain through creative expression happens to be my way of getting through trying times. Thankfully, such creative outlets continue to be available during this pandemic. Creating something is a way to bring your experience into physical reality. Recording your feelings regarding your day-to-day experiences is definitely an intentional way to sort through your grief. I have also found that writing instructions to your lost loved one can help bring some closure and peace. Even simple things like typing out how you feel that day and sending it to a person you trust can help you recognize your feelings and receive support. In addition, other forms of creative expression, such as art, can be very therapeutic and allow you to truly feel all of your emotions.

One thing that's important for us to remember during this impossibly hard time is that this pandemic hasn't stolen our ability to reach out and connect with our families. It does not have the power to take away the opportunity to remember the loved ones that we have lost. Consequently, it's still important to rely on support of loved ones when experiencing grief – even if we can't be with them personally. It's also important to still do what we can to celebrate their life with techniques that are available until it is safe to carry our traditional grieving practices. One of the ways my family has been doing this is by sharing pictures with one another via text and talking about our memories. We've called and just cried on the phone, but we've also laughed when conversing about the funny memories and happy times we had together.

It's important that we still do this stuff because the truth of the matter is that life doesn't stay in the midst of a pandemic.

Yes, some things have come entirely to a halt. But our grief cannot stay idle. We still have to work through our feelings and process all of these hard emotions. But most importantly, you must give yourself grace. This time is new and hard – especially when the loss of a loved one becomes a part of the story. It is perfectly okay to have a problem with what this pandemic means for those of us who are grieving. It is also perfectly okay if you are not okay. 

So do all that you can to process this. When all this is over, find comfort in understanding that we will get to celebrate our family members in the ways in which we find meaningful. After this pandemic, we will get closure – we'll get through this together.

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