Covid-19 and Grief
30 more days of social distancing...ugh!
We are watching history unfold in front of our eyes. Never in our lifetimes have we seen such an unprecented event such as COVID-19. As I watch my friends post the good, the bad, and the ugly on Facebook, I see a larger trend emerging...GRIEF. Everyone is morning the loss of "the way things were." Family gatherings and parties with friends are gone. Jobs are either gone, or how we're doing them is changing quickly. Those with jobs are working overtime and often exposed to what could be a deadly virus, with no end in sight. We are having to adapt to a brand new world, ready or not.
Grief has 5 stages, and to help you spot where you may be in this cycle, here are the 5 Stages of Grief:
These may be some of the thoughts you experience as you go through these stages.
1) Denial. COVID-19 can't be happening. It's a joke. It's a government conspiracy. No one I know has it, so it can't be real.
2) Anger. What do you mean I can't see my friends? What do you mean I can't see my family? What do you mean I can't see my kids? This is bullsh*t. Why does this always happen to me? Just when I got my life back together, THIS happens.
3) Bargaining. If only I had believed the threats... If only I had believed this was for real... If only I had worn a mask... If only I had stayed home, someone I loved wouldn't have gotten this...
4) Depression. I miss my family and friends. I miss hugging my kids. It's been 3 days and I'm still wearing pajamas. I'm so lonely. I'm drinking more than usual. I'm going crazy! I need human contact.
5) Acceptance. COVID-19 is the new way of life. I will do what I can to prevent it and hopefully that will be enough. If it's not enough, so be it.
These stages may be slightly different for ever
yone depending on what's going on in your life, but the stages are real enough. The best advice I can give, is acknowledge where you are and allow yourself to work through every feeling and every emotion. When you deny how you're feeling, those feelings are processed by your body. When your body is busy surpressing emotions it leads to a weakened immune system...and that's the very thing you don't want right now! Talk through your feelings with a loved one, journal, and forgive yourself for doing the best you can.