Grieving the loss of a loved one during the pandemic
Bijgewerkt op: 2 sep. 2021
Greeting a loved one's body to farewell them and attending a funeral are both important aspects of the grieving process. Lockdown or Alert Level Restrictions, as we are experiencing them in New Zealand right now, might impact what's possible or allowed.
Here are a few things you can do to cope with the loss while you're in your bubble in these heartbreaking circumstances.
1. Take the time you need to farewell your loved one at home
If your loved one dies at home, you don’t have to call the funeral director straight away. Take the time you need to say goodbye. You can sit with the body, talk and express what you want to say.
2. Ask for a photograph of your deceased loved one
If your loved one has died in the hospital, in a hospice or at a care facility, have a photo taken by the staff and have it sent to you. Seeing at least a picture of the deceased body, can help you overcome the feeling that 'this isn't real’. In the long term, it helps to accept the reality and the irreversibility of death.
3. Light a candle in front of a picture. Sit and talk, pray or meditate
Light a candle in front of a photograph of your loved one. Sit in front of the picture, as you would sit next to the body. Or you could create a memorial altar for them. Or you could sit at their favourite spot in the house or the garden. When you have a spiritual practice, you can pray or meditate, or talk to your loved one and express what you still want to say or express.
4. Journal or write a letter
If you prefer writing over talking, take a pen and write your feelings down. Whatever comes, let it flow onto the paper. If you like, you could write a letter to your loved one. You could use this letter in a healing ceremony, which I describe in my free ebook 'Grief and Loss: A Path to Healing in Difficult Times'
If people have not been able to grieve properly after a death, they are often left with unresolved feelings of grief. As a result, people are not feeling well. They may be depressed or at least not able to fully participate in life again.
This can happen due to the pandemic and its restrictions, but other life circumstances can also lead to 'delayed' or 'unresolved' grief.
Download my free ebook and find tools and ceremonies that can bring healing to you or your loved ones in difficult times