“Sometimes friends and family offer platitudes when you have suffered a loss. Think that they are making you feel better. They are trying to be comforting, but it’s not helping.”
Have you had enough of being told that coping with grief & loss gets easier? Are you feeling angry and frustrated? That even though this is one of the most challenging times of your life, and you are unable to get a hug?
This last year has been challenging for many people due to various reasons. And losing a close family member has made it even more challenging to cope. Here in this article is an image of the Queen at her husbands funeral of 73 years, lonely and not being able to give him a proper send-off.
Let me share Maria’s experience. She just lost her mum, who would hug and support her. She was not allowed to say goodbye to her due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Her mum died alone. Maria was unprepared and overwhelmed at the suddenness of the loss. Her mum’s funeral service was small due to social distancing, and many of her nearest and dearest were unable able to attend.
Maria wanted to be with her mum during the last moments; wanted to say goodbye and felt guilty she could not talk to her mum or help ease her pain.
What were Maria’s expectations?
The year 2020 till March 2021 had been challenging and distressing but made harder due to the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainty coupled with the feeling of grief and loss can make you feel angry and frustrated. How coping with grief and loss has become a big issue with the coronavirus pandemic? You wanted to give your loved one so that all the family could come and say their goodbyes. But these are not regular times. You have unresolved feelings – things you wanted to say, maybe ask them the recipe for that dish you always meant to.
Myths that you have been told about coping with grief:
- Your pain will dissipate faster if you ignore it and move on
- You can do this; you are ‘Strong.’
- Crying is a sign of weakness, but if you don’t cry, people will think you are not sorry
- You will grieve for about a year
- Think of ways you can forget means the pain gets easier
Coping with grief and loss is an inevitable part of life.
At some point, you will have to move on with your life:
- Acknowledge and recognise your pain
- Accept that your loss will bring up feelings and trigger unexpected emotions
- Know that you will have your process of grieving
- Get support from your closest friends and family
- Accept that your grief may trigger anxiety or depression
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in 1969, introduced the ‘5 stages of grieving’ and, within these 5 stages mentions, hints of depression and anger.
Denial: denying that you have lost a family member ‘this is not happening.’
Anger: angry with the situation ‘why me, and this can’t be happening to me.’
Bargaining: trying to find a way to assess the loss ‘I can change this and maybe I can try something different.’
Depression: feeling down that you cannot do anything ‘I am in pain to do anything and finally.’
Acceptance: ‘I accept and am ok with this.’
A few suggestions to find your way through this challenging time:
- take your time to process your grief; there is no rush
- journaling – writing down what you think and feel
- practice mindfulness and meditation practices that will help you
- deep breathing exercises that will calm your mind down
- try the evocative method of “re-membering”, with memories of the good times you have had
Losing a family member or a friend is challenging even at normal times. Covid-19 has made this coping with grief more pronounced. Remember your suffering and your response to the loss is natural. Time is a great healer and get support from a professional, if you are struggling.
Connect with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or just call 07967151790, and let’s get you feeling better.
Read “Fear Less Live More” and new and simple to use book that will help you with any challenges you may face. For a free consultation or chat about the challenges you’re facing, contact me to see whether Emotional resilience and stress coaching could help you focus on what’s important. Call 07967 151790 or email email@example.com