We are living in unprecedented times to say the least. COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it, and the effects of this pandemic are going to be felt for years. Coping with loss is difficult and never easy, but in the times we are living in, it is even harder. People are unable to be by their loved one’s side due to restrictions to curb the spread of infection. It’s this distant separation that makes dealing with grief even worse when the inevitable happens.
Even worse, things like organising a funeral, getting an urn for ashes, or even scattering ashes has become that much harder due to this pandemic. But one thing that is important even though you might not feel like it when you have lost a loved one is looking after yourself. Of course, we know that losing someone is terrible but try to do the following things to deal with the grief.
You Might Feel Guilt, Don’t Let It Overwhelm You
Following the passing of a loved one, you may feel survivor guilt. This is completely normal, and most people naturally do but it is important to recognise it and not let it cloud your judgements or decisions moving into the future. In other words, you need to take the time out to enjoy life and do the things you love. This might take some time but try not to hold yourself back from having positive emotions again. Something you might feel comforting is by doing the things that your loved one used to do. This could be going for a walk, cooking, or even simply reading their favourite books. Whatever works for you, just don’t let guilt overwhelm you.
Beware of Thoughts That Could Stop The Healing Process
If they take up too much room in your mind, certain feelings or thoughts can get in the way of the healing process whilst you are grieving. This can include blaming yourself for your loved one’s death, losing faith in your ability to carry on, isolating yourself away from family or completely avoiding reminders of the loss.
Understand That Loss is Difficult
After losing someone close, it’s easy to feel like it didn’t have to happen. This is something that almost everyone feels and is all too common in the unprecedented times we are living in. When somebody you love dies suddenly or under difficult circumstances, as is happening during this terrible pandemic, the tendency to think about how it could have been different is even stronger. However, try not to think with this mindset as it will only make things harder for you to move on with your own life. Remember, death is natural and will inevitably happen to us all.
Recognise That Your Feelings Are Real
Being emotional during the grieving process is a completely natural response when you lose someone. People feel common things, but everyone’s reaction to loss is different in some way or another. Naturally, the grieving process begins with feeling intense emotions, negative thoughts and behaviours solely focusing on caring for people other than yourself.
Accept Your Loved One is Gone
The pain of losing someone you love is terrible, but you need to accept what you are unable to change. This means accepting that your loved one is gone and finding ways to restore your well-being and overall mental health. This could include:
- Having a sense of purpose in the world.
- Acting in a way that aligns with personal values.
- Taking time out when you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Talking to friends and family about past, present and future.
- Accept that things are not easy because of COVID-19.
- Take part in activities that remind you of your loved one.
Seek Help If You Need To
Don’t beat yourself up if you need to seek professional help. Thousands of people turn to help when they recognise they are not coping. Seeking the help from a bereavement support organisation will help you process your loss and help you move on. Many funeral directors will also offer such a service so if you are unsure, simply get in touch with your local one.