Dealing with the grief caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus / Sanitas Medical Center

Date: June 4, 2020
Dealing with the grief caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways, including the death of loved ones. Some people have been infected, but overcome it, and others, unfortunately, have died. We all understand that eventually we will face the death of a family member or other loved one at some point in our lives, but we've never been mentally and emotionally prepared to face anything quite like the sudden and solitary death of a COVID-19 patient.

The first step to deal with grief is to understand that it is part of a normal process in life, in which you might experience unexpected emotions from anger, disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. These are normal reactions when you are experiencing grief.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a dramatic event that has amplified those feelings in us. Due to social distancing measures, many people have been left feeling sad and guilty that they could not be there for their loved ones in their last days of life. You should be compassionate towards yourself so that your grief process can be a healthy one, and it does not affect you negatively.

Sanitas honored the lives lost during the COVID-19 battle and encourages the following practices to help people to move through a healing process:

 

  • Acknowledge your feelings: Allow yourself to be with your thoughts. Identify and recognize how you feel emotionally, physically, and how you behave in situations of interpersonal relationships. Characteristics such as fear, sadness, tension, and isolation behaviors are normal. But you must always be aware of them so that they do not get out of control and you can maintain a healthy emotional state.
  • Accept help: Do not be afraid to ask for help during this time. Just because people must maintain physical distance, it does not mean that a family member or a friend is unwilling to help.
  • Honor your loved one’s memory: Write a letter, create a music playlist of songs that remind you of your loved one, or create a space at home to share memories with photos or videos. It is ok to remember that special person with an open heart. Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to keep and feel a sense of connection to that special person.
  • Social distancing does not mean stopping communication: Stay connected with family and friends. Make calls, send text messages, even send a meme to a special person to make them laugh, and for sure you will feel good. Keep the communication and connection with the special people in your life. That will be an essential key through your healing process.
  • Practice self-care: In times of grief, it can be easy to forget to take care of our health and well-being. Focus on the basics and make sure that you are eating well and getting enough rest. Do not put too much pressure on sticking to a routine. Find times to take care of yourself and replenish your emotional and physical health meditating and doing relaxation exercises.
  • Get support: Finding support during this time is critical and particularly important. No one ever should grieve alone. Find a support system in your community, or reach out to friends and family. You just need to ask! And everything is going to be ok. Remember that you are not alone in this process and during these difficult times.