I was picking up dog food this week and while I waited outside (safely spread out) someone told me they were there to put their pet down. This kind of event is horrible and heartbreaking at the best of times, the sadness and loss seemed only more magnified because of the processes that need to be in place right now to stop the spread of COVID-19.
We also hear stories in the news right now of individuals who are dying alone because of the restrictions. Individuals may not be allowed to be with their loved ones or may not be able to support their loved ones because of restrictions.
These events put into context how grief is so complex and difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve also heard from others, and have experienced myself, the personal grief that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not know when we can travel again. Many individuals have lost their jobs and don’t know when they might go back. Others have lost new opportunities or have to change or give up on life goals.
All of these losses need to be grieved in some way.
Grief is part of change. Grief is a natural response to what is going on in the world right now. Do not shame yourself for feeling this sadness. Do not try and run away from grief.
Grief is a way of reflecting and understanding the impact someone or something had. Grief is an acknowledgment of the powerful and wonderful influence an individual or experience had on our lives. Grief let’s us know how profound the loss or change truly is. Nothing about that is something to be ashamed of.
The best way to heal it – is to feel it. Grief is part of the process that helps us heal. Without grief we might feel stuck and unable to change along with the rapid changes that come everyday. Without grief it may be harder to accept new changes and adapt. Without grief it may be hard to transition into new hopes and new dreams.
If you are feeling stuck in grief or just need some help processing the changes going on in the world, reach out to Serenity Now counselling staff. We are offering probono and sliding scale options during the pandemic to ensure access to mental health resources if available.
You don’t have to white knuckle your way through this crisis. You are not alone.