By Doris Zagdanski, Author & Educator
The COVID-19 pandemic is reminding us of the impact loss and grief can have on our daily lives – it’s all around us now as we are forced to adapt to changes we never anticipated.
Almost nothing about our lives has been untouched by change, including how we work, go shopping, go on holidays, schooling, socialising, exercising and even handshaking.
Where there is loss, there will always be grief.
Grief is about the way we react to loss and change – how we think about it, how we feel about it, how we then act in response to those thoughts and feelings and how our grief affects our health and wellness.
In a COVID-19 world, people are describing their reactions using words such as “lonely”, “anxious”, “isolated”, “worried”, “stressed” and “angry”.
It’s important to understand that these reactions are normal. There is nothing wrong with you because you are feeling overwhelmed or out of sorts.
Frustration and anxiety can be heightened because many decisions have been taken out of our hands and there is uncertainty about what the future will look like.
We are also in unfamiliar territory, whether it’s social distancing, working from home or home-schooling our children. Our comfort levels are being stretched to their limits.
How can you help yourself?
One of my favourite sayings at the moment is “this too shall pass”.
It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal. In the meantime, it is important to have confidence that things will improve, that people will recover, and things will get back to normal.
For more advice on coping with the impact of loss and grief, including factsheets, book lists, videos and links to grief related support services, go to mygriefassist.com.au.
About Doris Zagdanski: Doris has been involved in the funeral industry for 30 years, helping families arrange funerals as well as volunteering in bereavement support groups. She is the author of seven books on the subject of grief and empathy.