In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are experiencing the losses of loved ones. The manners of grief and sorrow are obstructed by social distancing, making it challenging to genuinely indicate the pain’s passing and share.
With a more expected death, there are chances to say goodbye, and some preparation can be accomplished. The deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are traumatic: They weren’t expected. An ambulance could have come for a loved one fighting to breathe.
If there were chances to say goodbye, they might have been restricted or even done remotely with the support of a healthcare worker who, nevertheless affectionate, struggles to deal with uncommon stress and the size of what their job now involves.
It’s easy to see how children could be overlooked in these scenarios. In ordinary times, kids are often left out of talks, and events surrounding departure, as the adults around them, are preoccupied with their own grief and overwhelmed by planning and training.
When kids experience losing someone close to them, particularly a parent, they miss a major loving, organizing, and supportive person in their own lives. The individual who would typically enable a child to cope with fear, pain, and loss is no more there to reach out to. This role might be left to other caregivers who don’t know the child also.
Children Of Various Ages Deal With Mourning and Death Differently
It is essential to understand that children of different ages know death very differently and might need various supports. They also don’t express grief in the same way that teens and adults do; their grief might not be as obvious because their capacity to go over their feelings is often limited. And they are easily distracted by drama, so it could look as though they’re indifferent. This can make adults downplay a child’s experience of their reduction.
- Toddlers and preschoolers don’t know that death is irreversible, and everyone finally dies. They may ask about the return of a missing individual. Young children particularly want physical relaxation when they are upset. As much as possible, holding and hugging a child will help. However, keep in mind that some kids do not need a substitute for the missing individual and will fight to getaway. On the other hand, they might be fussy and clingy. It’s easy to see how adults may come across this assortment of responses from a grieving child hard to cope with to the time that the well-meaning adult may ultimately back away from trying to help.
- Older preschoolers and young school-age children understand death is permanent, but they generally feel that only old people die. When they experience a loss, they might believe they’ve caused the death. They want reassurance from others that this is not correct. When we often don’t understand how COVID-19 was contracted or when someone was really careless, it could also be true for older kids and adults. It is very easy to blame ourselves and others.
- Older school-age children start to understand death more as adults do. They know that it is not just the elderly who die. Also, they know that they can die. They may worry that the late person is cold or lonely. These concerns may cause a child to become more anxious and fearful for themselves or others, including the person they’ve lost.
- Teens are the most likely to say things like, “it is simply not fair,” or their loved one “did not deserve to die.” They might be angry and hide their grief. They are also typically more conscious than younger children because other family members are feeling. Because of this, they frequently attempt to “be strong” and not reveal their pain.
Will Things Get Better?
For most kids and adolescents, the most extreme grieving parts will fade around 4 to 6 months. However, there’ll be waves of despair for a year or longer, especially at holidays, birthdays, or other events or encounters if the loved one’s presence is particularly noted and missed, like graduations. The fantastic news is that the majority of kids will recover well, even from a traumatic loss.
How To Help a Kid (And Everybody) Recover
Involve the child in rituals and activities that assist in remembering the loved one, such as planning and participating in memorial services or actions
- Talk about feelings as well as the man who died with memories and stories.
- Help support approval of death by describing:
- The individual didn’t want to die.
- The individual didn’t want to leave the kid.
- The man who died won’t return. Do not create false hope by saying things like they are “far away” or “asleep.”
- Religious beliefs can be very useful.
- Provide continuing warmth and affection from the living parent or grandparent and other caregivers
- Tell the child they will be safe, cared for, and adored
- Tell the child they are important and appreciated.
- Keep arrangement and a regular – — It’s important to remember that life is not usually unpredictable and unmanageable.
How to Deal With Grief Amid COVID-19 Pandemic?
According to the news reports, New York State has been hit particularly hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 1,355,879 confirmed cases, more than 75,000 hospitalizations, and a growing number of 42,203 deaths as of mid-January 2021.
Coping with a loss is tough, but in the Covid-19 pandemic era, it is even harder. Often, the loss of life to the coronavirus is unexpected, and family members cannot be by their loved ones negative due to restrictions designed to block disease spread. The separation only adds to the desperation and despair of loved ones left behind.
One of the helpful ways to help a grieving person is to allow them to talk. It helps most people to be heard when we’re holding plenty of emotional pain.
It is hard to discuss the pain; we will need to feel connected to the person we’re talking to, and we will need to feel emotionally secure — just like they care and are interested and would like to hear what we have to say. It can be tricky to just listen to somebody express emotional pain.
Most people have a natural caregiving instinct, which makes us want to soothe the individual and take away the pain. But when someone is grieving the loss of someone close, we actually can not take that pain away. We can only be prepared to listen and share this very human sorrow.
Adding to the psychological hardship of losing a loved one to the coronavirus is the cessation of traditional rituals such as shivas, memorials, and funeral services, which assist survivors say goodbye. We can still comfort others by being present, showing our attention for the individual, our openness and interest in spending time together, listening to what they need to say, and sharing stories of the deceased.
A lot of our relaxation is nonverbal, but this requires some type of physical interaction. This is what’s much more challenging in the Covid-19 pandemic era. But with Facetime or Zoom video chats, this is not impossible. We will need to clean our minds and hearts of anger, guilt, and stress to the best of our ability and, from there, try to be creative in a way to be current with our bereaved friends and family as much as possible and in whatever ways we could.
Know your feelings are true. Grief is messy and a natural reaction to loss. There are no wrong or right ways to experience it. Of course, there are commonalities, but our reaction to loss differs for every individual, and for each individual, we lose. Generally, grief starts intensely with extreme emotions, preoccupying thoughts, physical responses, and behaviors focused on caring, caring for, and feeling close to the bereaved. With time, as we adapt to the loss by accepting its truth and reviving our well-being, grief is incorporated and finds a place in our life.
Understand that abrupt loss is shocking and hard to understand. Following a painful loss, it’s easy to envision ways it did not need to happen. This is something nearly everyone does. When a dear one dies suddenly, under difficult conditions, as is happening with COVID-19 deaths, the propensity to get caught up in imagining all sorts of alternative scenarios is much more powerful. This is known as a “derailer” since it can sidetrack the elastic healing procedure.
Use the tenets of the serenity prayer. You want to accept what you can’t alter; this implies accepting the death and the existence of the pandemic and its consequences. Also, you need creativity, courage, and determination to change what you can. This involves finding ways to revive your well-being and to manage the pandemic, which comprises three primary components:
1) behaving in ways that are consistent with significant personal values or deeply held interests,
2) feeling capable of confronting and meeting significant challenges in life, and
3) with a sense of belonging and mattering on the planet.
Watch out for thoughts that could derail your healing procedure. If they take too much room in your head, certain sorts of pure ideas, feelings, or behaviors can derail recovery during acute grieving. These include disagreeing the death, guilt, self-blame, shame, or anger; imagining ways things might have gone otherwise; losing faith in others or yourself; excessive avoidance of reminders of the loss; and social isolation.
Don’t allow guilt to conquer you. You will probably end up feeling survivor guilt. This is very natural, but it’s something to notice and listen to while trying not to let it take over and direct your choices as you proceed. To put it differently, you want to allow yourself to have pleasure and satisfaction in your life again. That might take some time. Just try not to push yourself back from having positive feelings and savoring them.
Working for the mourning process is not easy whenever we lose any loved one. But healing and coping after death about the coronavirus is much more complex.
If you have lost somebody to COVID-19, these plans may be useful:
Observe, Name, And Acknowledge The Emotions That Come Up Around The Loss
There can be a “storm” of emotions that frighten to blow you away, which is normal. Breathing slowly and focusing on your breath are ways you could “drop an anchor” within this emotional distress. Ups and downs are anticipated in the grief journey, and we could often get carried away by them. At any place or time, we can always get our body and breath. What are the things which could bring you back into the present moment?
Exercise Some Self-Compassion
It is tempting to blame ourselves for a variety of facets of the loss, judge ourselves for how we’re responding, or drop patience with our own journey of recovery. But this often serves to increase our suffering. Imagine if we were to reveal ourselves some kindness? Consider placing your hands over your heart and remind yourself that you’re human, you’re grieving, and you’ll proceed through the pain. Which sort of compassion could you give to a friend or family member? If they had been struggling?
Engage In Self-Care
Take care of yourself during this time, regardless of the limitations of this shutdown. We may have to be a small creative since the common hobbies and self-care strategies aren’t available. Consider what helps you relax, feel nourished in your mind and body, and what’s enjoyable. Some instances are taking a short walk out, journaling, watching your favorite movie, drawing a bath, etc. Eating healthy food, exercising, and producing a flexible program is also essential, even if you don’t have the desire or urge to do so.
Remember And Honor Your Loved One In Creative Ways
It can be easy to get lost in remembering the traumatic circumstances surrounding death from COVID 19: not having the ability to say goodbye; possibly your loved one on a ventilator; needing to make life/death decisions for your family member; the passing happening quickly; maybe being ill, or feeling guilty about what we should have or could have done.
These are normal responses. However, it’s helpful to find ways to reminisce about the deceased loved one, such as the”good” and “bad” times. What did that person worth? What did you value? About the individual? What were their hobbies or interests? What effect did they have on you? These can be powerful healing rituals when you participate in conversations with other people that knew and loved the person. Consider setting up a telephone call or digital gathering to celebrate your loved one.
Reach Out For Support
Turning into ourselves during despair often feels natural, but this may cause isolation. The grief journey can be more bearable once you connect with other people for support. Speak to family or friends who you feel will listen. You can also request they listen to you instead of trying to problem-solve. Just having love and validation is essential during those times. You may also wish to try out individual counseling, think of joining an online grief support group, or reaching out to a hotline to lead you through this difficult Covid-19 pandemic time.