By Dr Merisha Seepersad.
Educational Psychologist/Member of TTAP.
While “life goes on” during this pandemic, one overlooked fact is that persons are dying in families due to illness and accidents unrelated to COVID-19, and family members are grieving.
For those who have experienced loss, this is a period where some of the bereaved have to adjust to a new way of living and say ‘goodbye’ to loved ones via Zoom or social media. There are no last looks, whispered words or being able to place flowers on the grave.
In this time of uncertainty, the grieving process has led to heightened stress and/or anxiety levels. Persons are no longer able to receive face-to-face support from family and friends and this disconnect at a time when comfort is needed, can lead to a sense of loneliness and isolation, especially for older folk who refuse to embrace modern technology and look at a funeral service on the computer or phone. This pandemic has forced those who have lost loved ones to adapt to a ‘new normal’ way of life.
To effectively manage grief and loss and to cope with the death of a friend or loved one during this pandemic, the following coping skills are suggested:
More importantly, be safe and keep those around you as safe as you can. Death, grief and loss and bereavement are a part of life. Support others in these times of crisis. Let us be our brother and sister’s keeper.