Grief Responses to COVID-19

grief coronavirus covid-19

The Grief Recovery Handbook, written by John W. James and Russell Friedman states, “Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind.”  So how does this fit in with COVID-19? 

We could all be experiencing loss in this time.  Some examples include:

  • Loss of a job/income
  • Death of a family member or friend and the inability to gather with those you love
  • Loss of a “normal” daily routine
  • Loss of social gathering opportunities
  • Loss of feelings of safety or security
  • Loss of the ability to see our loved ones who may live in a facility which now are not allowing visitors to protect those in their care.

The common feelings that occur in grief include shock, disbelief, anxiety, fear, sadness, powerlessness, uncertainty, anger, helplessness. What we need to remember is that all these feelings and many others are normal during a time of crisis/grief. 

So, what do we do with feelings?  It is important to acknowledge to yourself that they exist. Then we need to think about what we can do.  While many of these suggestions have been repeated multiple times, they work!

Get moving or write in a journal.  If you have the technology to use the computer or your phone, do so. Think about writing and mailing a letter to people telling them that you love them or sharing a favorite memory.  Buy or make cards and send them to people. Change the thought from “I can’t do anything about this” to “I can do something” and decide what you will do. 

If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Joan Hapka-Tracy, LCSW
Bereavement Coordinator
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care

If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2020 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved. 

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