A New Grief: Staying Connected to Help During COVID-19 Coronavirus

In light of the newly imposed COVID-19 guidelines relating to gatherings and social distancing, many mourners are experiencing a new grief. Notwithstanding religious observances and families’ wishes, public funerals, burials and gatherings that are part of the traditional grieving process such as a wake, viewing or shiva, are now canceled or postponed. This is unprecedented and introduces the potential for extended grieving and a new type of grief.

In addition to the ordinary grief mourners experience at a time of loss, the newly imposed coronavirus requirements to modify or cancel public funerals, burials, and other memorials introduces an additional trauma and component to the grieving process.

The cause of this new grief may differ among people, but a few instances invoking the emotions include:

  1. The inability to honor the wishes a departed loved one by having a large gathering of family and friends in attendance at a funeral, burial, wake, viewing shiva or other memorial;
  2. A restriction or prohibition from adhering strictly to religious observances; and
  3. Since grief and loss is personal, the restrictions on gatherings of friends and extended family limits physical and emotional support which is one component people rely on after a death. In many instances, bereaved families are electing to hold a memorial service at a later date. With this impact on funerals, burials, memorial gatherings and other celebrations of life, it is important that extended family, friends and the community remain engaged and offer other means of support to comfort those grieving a loss. The full effect and impact on mourners for the measures taken by the CDC, State and local governments as a result of COVID-19 are not yet known. In the interim, staying connected with technology and other mediums are essential to continue providing support and remain present for grieving individuals.

How to Stay Connected

Many are accustomed to using emails, texts and phones for all communication. Its application is more acceptable and necessary as the restrictions on gathering size and social distancing are in effect. Generationally, baby boomers are resilient and quick studies so at this time engaging and using devices for FaceTime, Skype and other video chats are appropriate. In addition to the use of technology, the ‘old fashioned’ telephone is a powerful and effective way to stay connected and support loved ones. Below is a list of ways to stay connected with mourning families and provide support:

  1. Use the phone to call a friend and check in to see how they are doing;
  2. FaceTime, Skype to see your family member or friend and have a conversation, touch base and remain present;
  3. Send a text messages or email to show support and express condolences;
  4. Write a sympathy card, condolence message or note;
  5. Sending appropriate condolence gifts, meals and platters are still well received and appropriate at this time;
  6. Commemorate the departed loved one by planting a tree in memory of and send a note.
Find & Contribute to a Funeral
Find NEED HELP PLANNING A FUNERAL?, LLC | Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.