Grief is difficult enough to deal with under normal circumstances, making grief in isolation even more challenging. During times of isolation, such as social distancing for the sake of slowing down the spread of the Covid-19 virus, losing a loved one can result in a great deal of distress for an individual. The negative effects that isolation can have on your physical and mental health bring more challenges to a person grieving the loss of a loved one than they would experience if they were living a regular lifestyle. However, there are ways to make this troubling time a little bit easier. Using technology, can make you feel a little less isolated.
Though isolated, you are not grieving alone
It is almost certain that you are not the only person mourning the loss of this loved one. Just because you can’t be there in person to celebrate their life with your family and friends doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them in others way. Technology makes this possible with phone calling, text messaging, and video chat. One of the best treatments of grief is time spent with loved ones, so be sure to give them a call so you feel as if you are there with them.
Don’t miss the ceremonies
Grief and isolation are a difficult pairing to overcome. You miss the traditional events held in public or private that honor the life of your loved one, and you can’t engage your friends and family in a loving embrace. The fear of missing these “final goodbye” moments can be overwhelming and can make the mourning process much more difficult. With permission from the funeral home and/or religious officials, you may be able to have a loved one film the event for you using a video chat feature or a private viewing party on Facebook Live. This is a new practice that has grown in popularity for those in isolation or those who live great distances away and can’t make the journey.
Stay in touch regularly
Your family and friends will wish that you were with them just as much as you do. It is likely that they will want to hear from you often. Set up a group video chat that occurs on a regular basis and express your feelings with them. You can also leave a video condolence message for your family to view on the obituary portion of the website. Your ability to stay in contact with loved ones during mourning periods should not be impacted by physical separation.
Do your best to stay healthy
Mentally and physically, we do not stand a chance of getting through the stages of grief =in isolation if we do not take care of ourselves. Eating properly and attempting to exercise your body will help you to overcome isolated grief. For your mental health, you should keep your mind active. Get 8 hours of sleep every night, read books on grief, and be sure to take other therapeutic measures so that you can get through the emotional pain that comes with the losing a loved one.
What to do for someone who is grieving in isolation
It is easy to sympathize for someone who is grieving alone. Knowing how difficult it already is grieving under regular circumstances, we see that it must be much worse grieving when you are alone. The best thing to do for these people is to make them feel involved, even it is from a distance. Here are some ideas to assist the person who is grieving in isolation:
• Send them a care package. This lets them know you are thinking about them and gives them a chance to grieve in peace without the worry of figuring out a way to make food or fill up on grocery supplies.
• Volunteer to record the funeral/memorial service for them. This would be an appreciated gesture by the person in isolation. It allows them to watch the services with their family and see everyone’s faces during this difficult time. This is a great duty for somebody who is not part of the immediate family of the deceased, as it would relieve the pressure and stress of the close family and allow them to focus on grieving. Another great idea is to ask one of the funeral home staff members to record it for you.
• Assess the desires of the person in isolation. After the death of a loved one, there are usually possessions that are distributed to close family members to memorialize their deceased loved one. Make a point to see what the person would like as a keepsake and address it with everyone in attendance during the sorting of belongings.
Grieving during Coronavirus
2020 has provided us with a new challenge in which we are all responsible for maintaining social distance and protecting ourselves and those around us from this virus. This has led to regulations specifying that funeral homes mustn’t allow more than ten loved ones in attendance at any given funeral. This creates a dilemma for those not selected as one of the ten people permitted to attend. If you have a loved one who has passed away but are not a member of the small group who can go to the memorial services, request that somebody live streams the events for everyone who could not be in attendance. This new practice has become essential for those in different countries who could not travel or those who are sick, so it should be part of everyone’s funeral planning process during this crisis.
Isolation may change a few dynamics of grieving but should not eliminate the possibility of mourning properly. Though it is not normal to be distanced from your loved ones during difficult times, it can happen to anybody. The best thing to do is to find alternative ways of staying in contact with loved ones, and to ensure that you are looking after your mental health. Technology and communication can ease the distress caused by isolation and grief.