Living With Loss During The Pandemic

(Contributions included from Churches United)

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people around the world unable to be with a loved one when they die, or unable to mourn someone’s death in-person with friends and family. There are other types of loss including unemployment, not making enough money, loss or reduction in support services, and other changes in your lifestyle. These losses can happen at the same time, which only complicates or prolong grief. This prolonging delays a person’s ability to adapt, heal, and recover.

Living with Loss

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

Living loss is a popular term used to describe something that is lost that causes us to grieve, be unhappy and live below our best. If we lose something important, even if relatively small like a set of keys, we can go into a mild state of panic, being barely able to focus on anything else until those keys are found.
Throughout life, there are so many losses that affect us in a similar way. The loss of a relationship, loss of health, loss of family and friends through migration, etc. We can become anxious, lose focus and function below our best. We can also become aware that we are living with a ‘gap’ in our lives and it can feel as if someone had died.

Whilst studying and attending this programm I found the principles of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross very interesting. You may have already come across this principle.
The Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief, is a series of emotional stages experienced when faced with impending death or death of someone. You may find yourself experiencing these feelings, not necessarily in the order listed below:

Linear process and positioning – The 5 Stages:
• Shock and Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance (is an ending that will bring a new beginning)

The grieving process can take up to 2 years. It could take longer for various reasons. You may not experience these feelings its exact order.

Practical Tools
• Letter writing
• Keep a journal of thoughts and feelings
• Look at photographs
• Symbolically say goodbye
• Deal with unfinished business (get rid of any guilt, or pre-plans made)