Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
Last week, we began a two-part series about handling pandemic grief. Click here to read the first post. In this blog, we will discuss formal strategies for managing grief in the event you lost someone you love to COVID-19. Grief associated with a death which resulted from Coronavirus may throw you for a loop. Did COVID-19 claimed the life of your loved one? If so, hospital officials likely kept you from visiting them in the final weeks, days or hours before their death. Loss hurts no matter the source. But Coronavirus-related deaths present myriad secondary problems which complicate memorialization as well as grief.
Hijacked Pandemic Grief
Authorities and medical personnel could prohibit you from being with your loved one when he or she passed. They might even forbid you from holding a funeral or even hugging a friend. So, how do process your grief when someone close to you dies in the wake of a pandemic? As we discussed in last week’s post, you may feel robbed of the time you would like to have spent at your loved one’s bedside before they died. So, give yourself plenty of time to process the grief and to indulge the anger. After all; one of the stages of grief is anger. Fuming about COVID-19 restrictions could give focus to your ire. You may consider seeking the help of a grief counselor, book about mourning and/or friends who understand what you are experiencing.
Pandemic Grief Counseling
Psychology Today published their recommendations for the best bereavement counselors in LA County. So, if you need help finding someone you can trust, you might start there.
Books about Grief
There is no shortage of great books about processing grief. Which one to choose depends more on your personality and belief system than anything else. But the New York Times Strategist assembled a list of the 16 they believe best fill the bill. So, that’s a good place to start.
Finding the Right Friends
Not every friend makes a good grief confidant. So, make sure the person you decide to trust has your best interest at heart. A general rule of thumb is to find someone who listens and who offers to help in practical ways. If you don’t have such a comrade, consider joining a grief support group. You could find someone else to offer as well as receive support from you! Many such groups are meeting via Zoom these days, so you might be able to seek solace from the comfort of your own home!
In California, where Foothill Funeral & Cremation is located, in Los Angeles County, we were deemed an “essential business,” so have never closed our doors. That said, we continue to observe the guidelines laid out by the LA County Department of Health. While some restrictions have eased, others remain:
- Services may only take place at the funeral home or location of burial or cremation.
- Attendance must be limited to:
- Members of one household of up to ten (10) people (members who live together at the same physical address);
- One person who may view the decedent to confirm the identity as required by the mortuary, funeral home, or embalming service;
- Essential funeral service staff; and, if desired,
- One faith leader.
- Social (physical) distancing rules must be followed. That means at least 6 feet between household members in attendance and the funeral staff and faith leader.
- The service may be live streamed to permit virtual participation of others (see webcasting resources from the National Funeral Directors Association). It may also be taped for later viewing. In either case, the recording must be carried out by a family member or funeral staff person.
- People who feel sick or are at-risk for serious disease from COVID-19 should stay home.*
- Tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be provided for use by families and staff and restrooms must be stocked with an adequate supply of soap and paper towels. Waste bins should be readily available for the disposal of tissues and paper towels.
- People should not touch or kiss the body of someone who has died of COVID-19. If touching occurs, the person should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to touching their face and anything or anyone else.
- In order to limit the need for people to touch the doorknob, keep the front door open (weather permitting) or ensure that a staff person is always available to open the door as permitted participants arrive
- Limit the use of objects, equipment, and supplies that may be difficult to disinfect or make it hard to ensure social (physical) distancing (e.g. tent walls).
COVID-19 Changes to Our Office
- OFFICE VISITS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
- Arrangements and or Pick up or Drop off of paperwork or items will need to be scheduled with a Director.
- No more than 2 people will be allowed, at a time, in the office for Arrangement and or Pick up or Drop off of Items.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
Whether you choose to hold a memorial or funeral now or wait until restrictions are further eased, we would love to help you celebrate your loved one’s life. 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.