10 ways to help yourself grieve during the Covid-19 pandemic
We are currently enduring the Covid-19 pandemic and it has utterly changed the traditional Irish funeral. In the absence of family and friends, it can be hard to express and come to terms with the death of a loved one. There are some things you can do to help yourself through such a loss. The Irish Hospice Foundation suggests the following:
1. Try not to become emotionally isolated. Even if people cannot visit you, allow them to offer their condolences and support in different ways; you may receive texts, emails and messages through social media as well as phone calls.
2. Try to allow yourself to feel and react in a way that is natural to you. We sometimes say that ‘grief is the price we pay for love’, and there is no doubt but it is painful.
3. Keep conversations going with the people who are closest to you, your family or close circle of friends.
4. Even if those closest to you are not physically near, reach out to them and make sure to telephone someone each day.
5. Having ‘conversations’ through WhatsApp or through Facebook can mean there is a regular flow of communication through the day. They can remind you that people are thinking about you.
6. Remember to eat and to keep hydrated. Your body has needs and grief is hard work.
7. Keeping some routine can be helpful and mealtimes play an important part in this. So too does bed-time and getting-up time. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Try getting out in the garden, if possible.
8. If there are children in your family, check-in with them often. Answer their questions honestly. Don’t ‘fob them off’. There are some useful resources below.
9. Children may appear sad and happy in the space of minutes. It can be likened to jumping in an out of puddles. Let children set their own pace.
10. Try to limit how much news and social media you consume – when you are feeling very sad, regular news can be distressing.
Remember: In grief, you can only do the best you can, try to be tolerant and kind to yourself.