Thoughts on Grief During COVID-19
Grief is a reflection of a connection that has been lost. Sometimes it is the connection to an ideal or an expectation.
We have all experienced many losses during this time:
The loss of our normal routines
The loss of face to face connections with loved ones, co-workers, friends
Loss of income and jobs
The loss of felt safety and security
The loss of autonomy and personal freedoms
We can approach our grief hope! (1 Thess. 4: 13)
It’s okay to talk about our grief during this time and to name it as such.
Mr Rogers said: “If it’s mentionable it manageable!”
If we can talk about it we can get through it (together!)
Navigating our emotions:
Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that could happen? What’s the best thing that could happen? What’s likely to happen?
When we go to anxiety (imagined fear about future events that have not happened), return to the present moment with grounding exercises (deep breathing, journaling, walking, centering prayer, etc.)
Give yourself permission to cry. It’s okay to say “I am having a hard time.” When you feel an emotion your work is to feel it. When we feel an emotion we experience it and then the next emotion comes. We can feel it and then move forward.
We can normalize that social distancing is hard. We heal when our grief is witnessed by another. We were not meant to be alone in our grief. And yet, in this pandemic with have been charged with being islands in our grief for health and safety reasons. But it does impact our emotional wellness.
Allow yourself to “be where you are” in your grief. Don’t minimize your individual, unique experiences with this. Also, note that some of your grief may be related to present circumstances and some of it may be historical grief (“What I am feeling today….this reminds me of another time when I felt helpless, alone etc.”)
Give yourself space to freely release your tears. It accelerates healing!
Finally, reach out for help and support! Call us at The Refuge Center for Counseling at 615-591-5262 and we can walk with you through in person or telehealth counseling sessions.
Blog written by The Refuge Center Executive Director, Amy Alexander, LMFT