If you have experienced the loss of a friend or family member during the past year, dealing with your grief has become especially challenging. For most, it is something that has to be done alone, with members of your household or virtually. This applies to any loss, related to COVID-19 or not. Managing through the grieving process is never easy, but now it may seem insurmountable.
Although we cannot gather to grieve together, it is especially important to connect with others. The challenges of this pandemic have spurned new ways to reach out to memorialize and honor those we have loved and loss. Here are some suggestions to help stay connected to others who are grieving with you.
- Let people know that you would like to hear from them by inviting them to call you or by setting up Zoom sessions or conference calls. It may feel hard at first, but once you have connected with others, it becomes much easier.
- Choose a time when everyone, independently but simultaneously, will observe a special moment of silence and remembrance. Read a favorite poem or scripture, play a song or remember a specific family memory. Knowing that there are others within your circle who are honoring your loved one at the same time and in the same manner can bring a great deal of comfort.
- Set up a Facebook page, website, email thread or other platform where people can share their thoughts, photographs and reflections. You can make this private among family or expand it to friends and acquaintances. It is up to you. Just knowing the love others had for your loved one can mean so much.
Managing grief takes many forms. You will need to grieve on your own, but many times it is connection that will lead to healing. Reach out and connect when you don’t think you can and you may find the solace from others that you can’t give yourself.