Dealing with grief and loss during a pandemic

Surely, we can all agree, that with the COVID-19 pandemic, grief in different forms have emerged for many. We’re so thankful to have our Spiritual Care Team at Cerenity and our sister communities within the Benedictine care system working hard to support both residents and associates during these challenging times. Rev. Grace Anderson, Spiritual Care Director at Regina Senior Living in Hastings, MN shares some ideas on how to cope.

With COVID comes grief. Grief comes in many forms and many expressions. We grieve our role in the family because we aren’t actively caring for Mom in the nursing home. We grieve that we don’t see our extended family and friends in the same way. We grieve because we can’t volunteer. We grieve the life we were living 3 or 4 months ago. Pay attention to feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, denial and how you express those feelings. These feelings can be tied to grieving. Be gentle with yourself. Take a walk, watch a funny movie, garden, or make something for the children or grandkids. COVID has changed the lives of millions around the world. It is my hope that In our shared experience that everyone find their community to offer support and receive support.

Rituals in spring are numerous for such events such as graduation, weddings, and end of the school year concerts and performances. In any season, we also lose people dear to us. With social distancing, rituals we are used to cannot happen at the moment. Many funerals and memorials services are now scheduled farther into the year. What rituals can you do now as you grieve the loss of a loved one? You could buy flowers in your loved one’s favorite color, create a memory book to share with family, plant a tree or garden, keep a journal, light a candle, or donate money to a special charity. Then, make time and create a space at home for a ritual and bring what you want to lift up to memorialize your loved. It could be alone or with family and friends gathered together online. This does not replace any future gatherings in person but it could bring a little healing to a hurting heart.