Life can take unexpected twists and turns. In one moment, everything can change, and we have to be prepared for whatever life throws at us. In the last few months, our understanding of life has been upended with the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this unprecedented pandemic has added more confusion around the funeral industry and increased feelings of isolation following a loss, it’s also pushed people to take a harder, more profound look at their own lives, and their own mortality. For better or for worse, the last three months have put life in perspective, and we at Eirene are here to help you manage and prepare for the new, extra complexity that now comes from a world stricken by COVID-19.
In a time when things are already tough, managing and processing end-of-life can be even tougher. We’ve put together a list of ways to manage and cope with grief during the pandemic.
- Off the bat, remember that grief is not a mental health issue, but it can become one if not properly addressed. It’s paramount that you take the time you need during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether you’re quarantining alone or with loved ones, to look after yourself. Take time to give yourself the things you need emotionally, physically and mentally. Practice healthy habits, including eating well, daily exercise (even if it’s just a walk a day), and make sure to get an appropriate amount of sleep.
2. It’s vital to remember that grief, and your journey, are both intensely personal experiences. It is unique to you, and you cannot compare against anyone else’s experience. Grief affects every person differently, and there is no right or wrong way to process it. As you experience grief, remember to grieve in a way that is honest and natural to you, and be kind to yourself.
3. Identify that grief can come to dominate your thoughts, emotions and feelings in the early stages of the journey. This is normal. Grief is a process and it can take months and even years for people to learn proper coping mechanisms to live happily following the passing of a loved one.
4. Give yourself the necessary care and permission to experience the gamut of emotions that come through your grief. Indulge in things that you find comforting and use rituals to create meaningful moments (i.e. lighting candles, and reflecting on happy memories).
5. An already a lonely and isolating process, grief can easily become doubly tough while in quarantine. Doing the things that you might have done in the past to help you manage your loneliness or to help break up your days may not be available to you. It’s important to remember that you are not alone, and to understand and respect that we are in a unique time. This too shall pass, find moments of reflection and work to remember that you are part of a broader reality. Tap into friends, loved ones and family to make sure you are managing your grief appropriately.
6. Try and stick to some semblance of a normal routine. Getting up, getting ready and sticking to daily goals is key. The loss of a loved one can be destabilizing and can result in a loss of routine, so it’s imperative that you adhere to one as closely as possible.
7. Be open to receiving care, help and support when offered. Lean on those you love and people in your life. It may come in different forms, from cooked meals, flowers, notes, emails and even a simple phone call, but remembering that there are people out there that love you and want to support you can help ease the grief you’re feeling.
8. Make sure to keep in touch with those in your life. Reach out to loved ones, friends and family when you need. Staying connected during a crisis is vital, but even more so important if you are grieving. Make one phone call a day, make sure to text and keep connections alive and open.
Finally, our last recommendation is to take care of yourself. Managing grief can be tough, and with the added layer of COVID-19, be kind to yourself as you grieve the loss of your loved one.
If you’re in need of help navigating the end of life process, or arranging a cremation during the pandemic, we’re here to help. Get in contact today.