Grief and Covid

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Grief and Covid

I have not lost anyone I know to Covid. Yet. I am so thankful for that fact. But I have lost several people I love during this period of lockdown and right before.

My dad died in December, my last uncle three weeks later, my ex-mother-in-law not long after and my mom in June. Lockdown came in March, right in the middle of these losses.

I was still reeling from the loss of my dad when Covid hit. Dealing with grief is hard enough in normal times. Lockdown curtails many of the activities a person needs to survive the loss of someone they love.

Before my dad’s death, I could count on both hands and still have fingers left the number of times I cried as an adult. I’m just not a crier. I hold it in instead. Since my dad’s death and then my mom’s, I have cried more times than in my entire life, I’m sure. When my grief is heaviest, that’s when I need to be around people who love me.

Covid limits this healing step for me.

My siblings and I spent five plus days with each of our parents as they were dying. We spent five days holding each other up, sharing laughter and tears. They get my grief and I get theirs. I need them. They need me. We text and email almost daily. We share our grief that way. It’s not the same, though, as holding each other close, as sharing memories and pain in person.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Covid limits this healing step for me.

I garner strength from the Lord several times a day to cope with my grief. I picture myself right in his lap, holding on tight, crying on his shoulder, his arms wrapped around me in perfect love. And that keeps me going. Sometimes, though, when I am heavy into my grief, I want to feel physical arms around me. Or I want to talk to a physical person who can live into my losses.

Covid limits this healing step for me.

It’s important to continue to live life after the loss of someone we love. We already lost the time and activities with the person we loved and lost. During Covid, we mourn their loss plus we mourn the daily losses of a limited life. Both are hard on their own. Together, sometimes life feels insurmountable, grief overwhelming.

I’m working on living my life while grieving. I’m working on finding activities that are safe to do right now. So far, most of what I have found are solitary undertakings like my art and writing. They help but I’m still alone in them. I need contact with people. I need to not feel so lost. I have a wonderful husband but he’s busy with his jobs. He enjoys being alone. I am an introvert as well but I still need people.

Covid has brought on a disease of aloneness as each of us attempt to hide from this virus and attempt to protect those we care about from it as best as we can. People contact has to be at an all time low. I’ve never minded shopping. Now I dread it. Because of the risk. But more because of the aloneness. I feel like we walk around behind our masks, avoiding people like they have leprosy and if we look them in the eyes, or get too close, we will catch this disease as well. At least that’s how I feel when people don’t look at me, don’t come near me, and don’t smile at me.

(I couldn’t find a picture of anyone smiling behind their mask so had to take one of myself.)

We go about our business and don’t talk to each other. The smiles, few and far between, are found in the eyes above the masks, hiding the beauty of the face behind the mask.

For someone already feeling alone in their grief, this new mask culture, this new avoidance culture only deepens that aloneness.

I don’t write this so people feel sorry for me. I’m sharing honest feelings because I want to remind myself and others that there are real hurting people out there who need us, even more so in Covid days.

Taking five minutes to send a card doesn’t cost much but can mean the difference between a good and bad day to a lonely person. Taking twenty minutes to call and ask how they are doing, that is priceless. “Seeing” people when you go out, smiling behind the mask, looking into the eyes of the person you are meeting, nodding your head, tells them they are seen and matter.

It is in our connectedness that we will find healing from the broken connection of death. We just have to be more intentional about finding ways to connect with the hurting people around us in these Covid days, both the people who have suffered losses and those who can offer comfort.

Who do you know that is hurting right now? What can you do today to help them feel a connection to someone who cares? Be the connection they need. It will help them and it will bless you.

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