Dealing with Loss While Physical Distancing
It’s difficult enough to deal with a loss of a relative, friend, or pet. But what if the loss comes during COVID-19 and physical distancing? That time can be stressful and sad for those dealing with a situation like this. Not only are you grieving the loss, but you are in the midst of living through a pandemic, where you must remain physically distant from others to deter the spread of the virus.
“All of us are feeling on edge right now and depression may also be settling in,” explains Bridget DeFiccio, Senior Vice President, Integrated Health, Acenda. “Coupled with the loss of a loved one, it can start to feel like ‘too much’ to deal with. Due to physical distancing guidance, you might not be able to memorialize the loved one the way you would have planned, and may not have the support you might need from others because you are not able to be together.”
Here are five tips to help people cope with loss while ‘physical distancing’:
1. Don’t grieve on your own.
Talk by phone, zoom chat, facetime or other methods to touch base with others. Having that personal connection to others helps with anxiety and loneliness.
2. Share stories about your loved one who has passed.
Just because you may not be able to hold a memorial at this time doesn’t mean you can’t “memorialize” the loved one. Make a photo album of some pictures that you will have as a keepsake, plant some flowers in your garden as a remembrance or make one of their favorite dishes to honor them.
3. Take care of yourself.
During a grieving period, we may not get enough sleep and may feel overly stressed. This can wreak havoc on our immune system and cause us to get sick. Make sure you are eating nutritional foods, getting rest and getting some exercise.
4. Don’t judge how others are grieving.
All people cope with grief differently. You should be aware that how you deal with it may be different from other friends and family members and be judgement free. If someone wants to keep their distance, that’s ok, focus on giving everyone the space they need to cope.
5. Think about a more positive future ahead.
Looking forward to something you’d like to be doing once the virus is gone, will give you hope for a better tomorrow.