To love someone and be loved are the precious gifts that anyone can ever get. As they say, everything comes with a price. Well grief, an immense pain comes with that unconditional love when you lose your loved one. The painful process of grief has become even harder during this covid-19 pandemic. With social distancing measures and travelling restrictions supporting the bereaved is difficult. Although it is the most important thing they need right now.
Here are some ways to support your grieving family and friends despite the physician barriers.
Arrange Virtual grieving rituals
Losing someone feels like, there is nothing left for us to hold on to. Suddenly everything seems meaningless and empty. Not having that person around is like you are all alone in this world. The grief will always be there, but the immediate intensity of grief can be reduced with the support of family members and friends. That is the reason, there are different mourning rituals for different religions and cultures accordingly to come together for grieving and showing empathy to the bereaved family.
One of the many advantages of technology is the possibility to connect with people even when you are miles away. You can be with them without being there physically.
As the current situation is not allowing us to have such gatherings, you can arrange virtual gatherings. The family members and friends can join the virtual meetings to share their feeling, honour the life of the lost soul and support each other emotionally.
Make meaningful connections with the bereaved ones
The sense of having someone even virtually can make a grieving person feel much better. You can check upon them through call, voice note, or a simple text message. You don’t need to say something magical to make them feel better, just let them know you are there for them. They can share their feelings when they feel like it. Do not overburden them to reply as most of the time they don’t feel comfortable having a formal conversation.
You can also send a handwritten letter or personalized card to express a more personal gesture. Your effort and the tangible object can reflect a better image of your support.
Listen to their feelings unconditionally
When they are ready to share their feelings with you just make sure to have all your ears. Calling tends to share their own similar painful stories to empathize with someone. Please don’t. They just need someone to listen to them, not to overwhelm them. Just remember it’s about them, not you.
Get food delivered to their doorstep
In the grieving process performing daily chores like grocery shopping, cooking can be difficult or can trigger the pain of missing loved ones. You can relieve them from this burden by delivering a home-cooked meal or ordering from a food delivery service without violating the social distancing norms.
Suggest therapy if necessary
Sometimes a grieving person may face difficulties processing their feelings which can take a toll on their mental health. Providing the intensity of the situation, a professional therapist can make a major difference. If you feel the need for it, do not hesitate to suggest one for your bereaved family or friends.
Encourage them to indulge in self-care
The feeling of grief can be so devastating that one can not feel like themselves. Dwelling in someone’s memories can make them forget who they are and what is their purpose in life. Help them find themselves again by doing what they love. Encourage them to spend quality time with other members of the family, read books(you can gift a good one), listen to music, paint, meditate, exercise.
Help them to Join an online community
It is easier to express yourself with people who are at the same stage of life as yours or have similar types of experiences.
Recommend them to join an online community like iwithoutu.com, where they can share their stories, create a memorial profile for their loved ones, share condolence messages and find a support group.
Check upon them on special occasions
Grieving is for lifelong.No one can come out of grief, they just start living with it. Follow up with them during birthdays, anniversaries, holidays as they often tend to trigger grief. Stay consistent with your support. With the world falling apart, showing love and empathy to others is the only thing to count upon.
Take care of your grief
We often neglect our grief and anxiety while taking care of others. Especially during this pandemic besides losing loved ones, so many of us lost so many things like jobs, relationships, financial stability. Acknowledging your grief and processing them is as important as helping others with their loss.
Allow yourself to grief
Ignoring your pain or keeping it unexpressed can worsen your mental health. It is normal to feel sad or lonely after loss. Crying does not make you weak. It is necessary to face your grief and process it for real healing. You can also share your feelings with the person you trust.
Take time to heal
There is no specific time limit for grieving. Everyone has a different mechanism of coping with grief. So give yourself enough time to heal. Do not feel guilty if you heal faster than others. Moving on with life does not mean you forgot your loss.
“Grieving doesn’t make you imperfect. It makes you human. ”Sarah Dessen