As I sit here in my clinic post lockdown and see life starting to emerge again I can't help but wonder 'What have we lost? and how do we rebuild our lives when things remain so uncertain?. Often the word grief if only used in relation to death but I want to suggest that grief is so much wider than that. In my simple view the word grief is just another term for loss and Covid-19 has been a master at cultivating loss. These are just some of the things that have been lost for many of us.
People- Thousands of people have died during this time leaving many families heart broken
The right to say goodbye- Not being able to be present as people die or attend funerals and wakes
Our freedom- being in a situation where your liberty has been removed
loss of our normal society
loss of weddings
loss of holidays
loss of certainly. I could go on!
I would ask you if you are reading this blog 'what have you lost during this pandemic? and how do you really feel about it? You see loss is difficult for all of us but what becomes more difficult is if we ignore our losses. As a counsellor I have seen it time and time again where people have not dealt with their loss and years later they see the consequences of this.
So how do we deal with the aftermath of loss and grief? Unfortunately there is no 'one fits all' answer but I want to share with you a few things that might be helpful.
Don't be surprised if you feel overwhelmed during this time. So much has happened and continues to happen in this pandemic, try and remember you are doing the best you can.
Acknowledge your feelings! Allow yourself time to feel the losses you have incurred- even for a short period of time.
Talk about it! We are all in the same boat (but with different slants on the lense) This can be really helpful to know that you are not alone in your loss.
Stay in the here and now as much as you can. Anxiety can really creep in when things are uncertain so be kind to yourself and learn to bring yourself back to right here right now! None of us know what will be but we can remind ourselves that we are doing ok right now in this moment and that pain does lessen.
Honour your losses- For many who have lost people to this terrible illness the usual rituals we have access too i.e funerals and wakes have been withheld. This is hugely distressing- however I would encourage you to come up with your own rituals at home to honour what or who you have lost. This could be writing it down and reading it out to a picture, lighting a candle or thinking about all the memories you created. If you have lost your job for instance don't be afraid to morn what has gone before you move on to the next chapter.
Ask for help. Speaking to a counsellor can really help you work through your losses and come to terms with the new normal.
I am now seeing clients face to face as well and Video counselling- If you would like to book an appointment with me or my colleague Victoria please don't hesitate to get in touch.