29th July 2020
by HealthyMe Digital

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone everywhere in so many ways, some more directly than others.  Those of us directly affected are now living changed lives, maintaining safe health practices, adapting to being isolated from family, friends, colleagues and our community.  How we work has changed considerably, some are adapting to not working and wondering about their financial future.  There has been so much upheaval, and many of us will be feeling any number of different emotions and one that will be common to many is grief. 

Many associate grief with the loss of a loved one or close friend. However, we will feel grief as part of a process of change, sometimes major and sometimes minimal, or even subtle, only realising the effect on reflection.  Much of the grief that we are experiencing is the sense of loss of our former lives, both individual loss and the broader community’s loss as well.  Direct loss through illness and death caused by COVID-19 is something that has, sadly, affected many.  Also, there are those of us who have lost a job because of market instability or had a substantial change to our work.  Then there are the community losses, the destabilisation of economic systems, healthcare provision, education, and so much more.  There will be an associated loss of certainty, stability, and control. 

The first thing to appreciate is that the sense of loss and grief is quite natural and is something we all experience.  The Change Curve (Kubler Ross) highlights the stages that we may go through.  Note that not everyone’s response is the same.  The main stages are:

  • Denial – Blame Others
  • Denial – Blame Self
  • Doubt, uncertainty, and confusion
  • Acceptance
  • Solutions and Problem Solving
  • Moving on

Throughout the process, we must accept and face the grief, then work through it.  We may move in and out of the different stages, and that too is natural.  We will be distracted and sometimes move from happiness to despondency.  It can be beneficial to talk to someone close to you particularly, as you are likely going through a similar process to them.  It is worth remembering this is a shared experience and your desire to work towards a solution will be shared by many across the globe.  It is imperative to stay connected with your family and friends and it can also be a great time to link with local and national groups as well.  Professional help should also be accessed if there is a feeling of depression; there are many resources available, and counsellors and psychologists can help you through the grieving process.  Things will get better, and life will return to a new normal.  We will learn much and be able to draw on the experience, gaining strength and new insights into how to deal with future challenges.

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