Death and Grief During a Pandemic

Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Other Special Days

When we are grieving, some days are more difficult than others. Grief comes in waves like the sea and can feel like an intertwining labyrinth of emotions. Birthdays, anniversaries, and special dates that are associated with our loved one who has died can contribute to more emotionally intense days which can be worsened through the anticipation and “what ifs” of the upcoming day. These difficult days can leave us feeling defeated and it can almost feel like we’ve taken two steps backward in our grieving process, but grief does not have a timeline, and these feelings of setbacks are opportunities for healing.

When Death Feels like a Thief

In the heart of my grief, at my frailest, all I could see was what was no more. I grieved all that was stolen from me by death; love, security and even my very self. Had I known the value of having every pocket of who I was, picked bare by grief, I would not have fought so hard to hold onto it all.

Weathering the Intense Emotions of Grief

Grief often comes with powerful, unpredictable emotional shifts that can be painful to experience. While it’s important to find ways to sit with these feelings, to acknowledge the pain of grief and accept loss, it’s also necessary to find ways to ease and manage the pain. There are several simple activities that you can explore to help.

What Does Grief Support Look Like?

When we experience significant, on-going symptoms of grief that interfere with our adjustment to the reality of our loss, it can be time to seek professional help. It can be difficult to know where to find help and what grief support options are available.

What I know about grief

The following are some things I know to be true about grief for me, based on my lived experience. Some of them may resonate with you as well. Grief is unique to the people experiencing it in each moment, so please take whatever makes sense to you from this share and leave whatever doesn’t.

Collective Grief

When the death of a person affects many members in a community, city, country, or across the world, people will experience collective grief.

These are some things that can help people through the experience of collective grief across a community.

Jean – Be good to yourself

Jean shares about support and not being hard on yourself

Jean – Grief resources and self care

Jean talks about resources that help in processing grief and self care

Jean – Helping your children through grief

Jean discusses how helping her children through grief also helped her

Jean – My own grief and being a professional counsellor

Jean shares about being a counselor and going through her own grief

Jean – My Story

Jean talks about isolation and grieving during a pandemic

Jean – Traditions and grief

Jean discusses belief systems and traditions