(Part 1 in a Series)
If someone you love died during the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely encountered numerous issues relative to the death. This is true regardless of whether or not the deceased person died as a result of the Coronavirus. Since mid-March, millions of families across the world have encountered unique challenges when someone they love died. In this blog post, we examine several such matters and offer suggestions for managing grief, even in the midst of pandemic pandemonium.
MedicineNet defines grief like this: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death), social (such as divorce), or occupational (such as a job). Emotional reactions of grief can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, and despair. Physical reactions of grief can include insomnia, changes in appetite, physical maladies, or illness.
Grief is the emotional response to loss. When someone you love dies, you experience a myriad of feelings as a result. What’s more, grief is an extremely personal experience. What you encounter will not be entirely the same as any other person…even if you are grieving over the loss of the same person. However you feel, give yourself permission to bear it. And allow plenty of time for the process. Be kind to yourself. Many people feel stressed due to current conditions. Facing a death in the midst of this already trying time will likely add to your stress. Give yourself permission to do the best you can in a difficult time. And surround yourself with people who will support you in the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the already painful process of grief for many around the world. Facing restrictions relative to hospital visitations, travel, funerals, memorials and wakes, you may not have been able to fly or drive to the bedside of someone who was actively passing away. Or, you may have been prevented from holding a funeral service. Some people live-streamed services in lieu of waiting for restrictions to lift. At Foothill Funeral & Cremation, many of our clients opted to wait until they could hold a service with more than 10 people. In LA County, where we are located, cloth face coverings and social distancing still apply. But people can gather in larger groups. Waiting to hold a service in such a case delays any sense of closure that a memorial service provides.
Separation & Death: Grief
If circumstances forced you to be separated from your loved one at the time of their death, you may feel robbed of the opportunity to say goodbye. You could also feel angry that the pandemic prevented you from sharing an important rite of passage, as your loved one passed away. Feeling frustrated is understandable. But remember that life is more than what someone experiences on their deathbed. Your loved one’s life consisted of millions of little moments. You were part of many important milestones. Focus on those. And try to let go of your anger, as it could impede your ability to process grief and move on.
Check back next week as we continue this series about processing grief in a pandemic.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
Whether or not your loved one died of COVID-19, we realize that the pandemic may affect your ability to sufficiently celebrate a life well lived. At Foothill, we will do our best to make sure you can mourn the loss of your loved one in a safe manner. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart (which currently allows a maximum of 65 people) provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.