Loss has looked different for everyone throughout the pandemic. A lot of us missed out on weddings, birthday parties and graduations. Others lost their jobs because of the lockdown and the way it affected the economy. One of the most impactful losses has been that of loved ones. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 4.3 million people have died from COVID-19, leaving behind grieving family members and friends. It’s never easy to lose someone close to you. Even more so when it comes unexpectedly.
Grief often feels like a fog. It becomes a part of our daily lives, and it can feel as if the fog will never lift. It can also be scary when grief starts to go away because it can feel like we’re letting go of the person we lost.
There was a part of me that wanted to feel better and start healing. But then there was part of me that didn’t want to let go.
Susan lost her husband to COVID-19 in January. She feels that it’s harder to lose someone to COVID-19 because it isn’t expected. Like so many others, she couldn’t be by her loved one’s side due to safety protocols. The quick progression that comes with serious COVID-19 cases makes everything harder for families as there’s often very little time to make important medical decisions. It can also be painful to be unable to hold a proper memorial or celebration of life during a time when social interactions are still limited. Not only that, but there are constant reminders of COVID-19 everywhere.
All of these challenges add up, making it even more difficult to process the death of a loved one. Making progress may not feel like an easy task, but you don’t have to navigate it alone.
Everyone experiences grief differently. The ways in which we all find comfort and heal also vary. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.
Support groups are a great way to get help from your community. They can also help you connect with others that may be going through a similar situation. Many groups are now available online too, making it easier to find a good match. Others find support from family, friends and even pets.
When we mourn a loss, it’s normal for us to have trouble keeping up with chores, child care and work. Remember that it’s OK to ask for help if you’re struggling. Turning to therapy for extra support can also help.
I never, ever have to feel like I’m alone.
Susan turned to virtual mental healthcare to cope with the loss of her husband. While she was concerned about connecting with someone online, she found that it “worked out remarkably well.” Therapists can help you:
- Process your feelings
- Develop helpful coping skills
- Learn how to reach out for support when needed
Reaching out for help
Grieving is never easy, but it’s easier to heal with the help of others. Dr. Lara Wiziecki, board-certified emergency physician, also reminds us of the importance of being kind to ourselves when dealing with loss.
Acknowledge your loss. Nothing’s going to be the same, but there are little things that can be done. Honor old traditions and memories, but also create new ones. Also, know that you’re not alone.
Dr. Lara Wiziecki
Therapists often play a key role in supporting the healing process. With Teladoc Mental Health, you can choose a therapist or psychiatrist who fits your unique needs. Visits with your chosen mental health provider can be done by phone or video from anywhere.
Learn more at Teladoc.com/therapy, or find your therapist to get started.