If you have lost a loved one to Covid-19, you may have lost them very suddenly, even been unable to be with them while they were ill. You may have been unable to have the funeral you wanted or have family and friends around you for support when you needed them the most. These are exceptionally hard circumstances in which to lose somebody.
It’s has been hard for most of us with the lockdowns and restrictions to our normal lives. Life has been significantly disrupted and the news each day was very distressing for a long time. Some of the things that kept us well stopped completely (classes, groups or face to face contact with our family and friends) Ordinary things became much more complicated to say the least.
These struggles can be really exacerbated if you are grieving for a loved one. You may feel more alone than ever and the person you would’ve faced all of this with, and given strength to each other, has died. Leaving you grieving, alone and having just come through a very challenging global situation as well.
Tell your family and friends or someone you trust that you are struggling, a listening ear and a friendly voice will help you feel less alone. You may worry that they have enough on with their own worries and families, but it’s most likely they will want to know how you are doing, how you are really doing. Ask for more regular contact if this is possible, phone, email, messaging, zoom, skype… whatever works for you. Tell them if there’s a time of day that is particularly hard for you, a call or message at this time could help.
You were incredibly important to your loved one, you are incredibly important to your family and friends. Now however, along with lots of other really difficult feelings, you may sometimes feel not so important to yourself. Feelings like these are not uncommon and they may come and go and come back again. Despite these challenging emotional swings, now is the time to take extra care of you.
Here is a short film talking about grief post Covid. There’s a short overview, a bit about some of the myths surrounding bereavement and then most importantly of all, looking after yourself while you grieve.
There are lots of ideas and resources to help with self-care, have a look at some of the links listed here or do a search more suited to your tastes. There are so many YouTube films for exercise, yoga, art, gardening, crafts….just pick and choose those that appeal, or even revisit those things that used to work for you. Try to do maybe one or two things a day and also remember rest, eating well and moving and stretching are all important for taking care of you.
If you are overwhelmed or frightened by your feelings sometimes, it might be good to put together an Emotional First Aid Kit, so that you can ground yourself, feel safe or just take a much needed rest from some of the hard stuff of grief.
The aim of creating this kit and keeping it near to you is to have ways to soothe yourself when you feel particularly low or vulnerable or you are worried about where your thoughts and feelings are taking you.
This is not a way to supress or ignore your feelings, your feelings are valid. It is more a way of taking good care when you feel overwhelmed or frightened of your feelings and thoughts.