Many of us who have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 crisis are not just sad, but we are angry and our ability to mourn and memorialize our loved ones in a way that encourages closure and acceptance is fully disrupted and detrimental to our health.
When someone we love dearly has passed away, especially when it is so sudden and unexpected, we as a species have evolved to expect and enact certain practices and procedures that make death easier to handle psychologically. The coronavirus has decimated those practices, and we are left unable to process our losses in a healthy way.
We have to create a new and effective way to honor those we love while being able to simply be there for each other during such a scary time. First, we must establish how we, as a community, mourn our losses and must depend on the support of others to regain our emotional health.
How We Mourn
Grief is a painful and personal process that is essential for us to experience in order to redefine our new world without the existence of that special person. Experiencing and processing our grief is essential for our psychological and physical health.
Isolation, both physical and emotional, do not allow us to move through the process in a healthy and constructive way. We are stuck in one place and cannot push forward. We need other people to support us in our bereavement period.
Everyone experiences death differently, but there is one thing that we have in common: we need each other for support. The problem is that we currently cannot travel or see each other to get the support that we need to accept the loss and work through the pain that we feel.
COVID-19 has not allowed us from moving through the traditional stages we need to experience to get to acceptance.
What COVID-19 Has Done To Our Mourning Process
Mental health professionals will tell you that there are five stages of grief, and a death, or deaths, from the coronavirus, has disrupted every part of that cycle. The five stages of grief are (in no particular order):
- Denial leading to self-isolation
- Feelings of anger
- Bargaining and blaming oneself
- Acceptance with a release of anger
The coronavirus has left many people in a stage of denial and has forced all of us into self-isolation anyway. As with most COVID-19 deaths, we are not allowed to be with our loved ones as they pass. Humans sometimes need to see something in order to believe that it happened. Denial will continue as long as we are kept from tangible proof, no matter what we are told, especially when we cannot see others who can verify our circumstances.
We are angry about this disease and its spread across the world. We can blame ourselves for their deaths because we went to the store or have a job in the public sphere. Depression comes from self-isolation, loneliness, fear, and a burgeoning understanding of the loss we have recently experienced.
We can only accept the death and release our feelings of anger and sadness through the emotional support of others. One great suggestion is to create a virtual memorial that everyone can visit and use to move forward.
How Covituary Can Help
Covituary is the best place to permanently memorialize your loved one and share your stories, memories, and details with the world. They offer you the space that you need to share what you want and you have the ability to invite others to contribute their stories as well.
Upload images and videos to give a full picture of those you have lost and watch the story grow and change form through the additions from others. You may learn new and interesting things about the person and gather support from a group of people who feel the same that you do.
You can connect with others and discuss your emotions. Most importantly, you will be expressing yourself and your feelings in writing which usually leads to acceptance and a release of any anger you may feel from their death.
Contact us at Covituary or visit our website to begin building your memorial. Share your emotions and experiences with us today. Your family and friends will thank you and you can move forward into a healthy and supportive place. Covituary is here for you.