Grief and mourning are universal and are experienced by people of every age. Grief is the emotional suffering that occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a relationship, or to the death of a valued human being or animal. Even subtle losses in life can trigger a grief. The pain of it can also disturb your physical health, can make it difficult to sleep, eat or even think straight. There are five stages of grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying.
1. Denial – The first reaction is denial. Individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
2. Anger – People become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Why would this happen?”.
3. Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromises.
4. Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one; why go on?”
In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
5. Acceptance – “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it; I may as well prepare for it.”
In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions.
These five stages of loss do not necessarily occur in any specific order.
Corona virus pandemic can be very difficult for people who have experienced loss or significant changes. People may simultaneously experience guilt at the thought of engaging in holiday activities like putting up the tree or watching films because they are doing these activities without their loved ones.
Successfully coping with loss and change requires acknowledging that things will never be as they were in the past. Grieving process takes time; it may feel awkward and difficult in the starting. Healing happens gradually, it can’t be forced. It is important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
TIPS TO DEAL WITH GRIEF DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
SURROUND YOYRSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU Change and loss make people feel alone and even unloved. Spending time with those who love and support you helps you feel better and also provides opportunities to emotionally support others who may be experiencing the same loss or change that you are experiencing. And if you are living alone in this pandemic you can use social media to talk, to interact with people who loves you.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and be willing to allow others to be with you in your emotion. Allow yourself to feel weather it is joy, anger, sadness or relief Give your emotions a time and a place to be expressed.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF get enough sleep, eat well, share your feelings with others and engage in physical exercise to manage feelings of depression and anxiety and most importantly find ways to express your emotion everyday don’t try to suppress it.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS Don’t avoid your feelings doing this is like attempting to hold a balloon under water. It may work briefly, but eventually the balloon will find a way to the surface. Instead of overwhelming yourself with nonsense activities, determine what your priorities are and engage in activities which help maintain those priorities.
THERE ARE GIFTS IN LOSS? Yes if you feel it. When a painful loss first occurs it is impossible to imagine that anything good could come from it. With Time and perspective you will be able to see something positive. You may be able to appreciate good times more than ever before.
DO FOR OTHERS I am sure you will love it. Try to help others so that you can help yourself in a way. When you reach out and help others you automatically will feel good.
As long as there is a life, there is hope. As long as there is a hope, there is life.