Facing Loss and Isolation Amid a Pandemic

Losing someone you love and value is difficult under any circumstance. Sadly, many people are now losing loved ones in the midst of social distancing and self-quarantining. Facing a loss while being completely isolated makes what is normally a difficult situation feel impossible. When a loved one passes away, we typically turn to the physical company of family and friends for comfort, something we are now unable to do because of Coronavirus.  

As a result of the pandemic, thousands of families are being denied family gatherings, calling hours, funerals and other burial customs that typically offer comfort and closure. When people are not able to participate in these expected traditions, it can make coping with a loss even more difficult. 

Niagara Hospice has several recommendations on how to help manage grief during isolation as a result of the current public health situation.

Please Know to Fight Loneliness

Please know that you are not alone. You may feel alone but you are not. Loneliness is a hard thing to talk yourself out of, especially in a time of grief and isolation. Not being able to receive in-person support from loved ones will likely amplify your feelings of loneliness. It is important to remember that people aren’t choosing to be away from you during this time, but instead, they must be for their safety and  yours. Do your best to find solace in the fact that eventually, you’ll all be together again.

Be Courageous and Ask For Help

It is important to remember that others are still here for you, but you might have to reach out to them. Typically, our friends and family would witness the stages of our grief, but they are now unable to do so. It is important to tell your support system how you are feeling and what you are going through. From phone calls to video chats to curbside waves, there are still ways to connect with the people you care about and allow them to be there for you. 

Be Determined to Remember

You’ll likely find it easy to focus on the negative when the circumstances of your life feel out of control. However, do what you can to dwell on the positives. It will be easy to let the pain and suffering you’re facing take control and rob you of your joy, but you deserve better. Consider writing down memories that you shared with the loved one you are grieving. Doing so can you help you remember the good and foster those feelings.

Please Practice 

Different practices such as mediation and breathing can help us center in on the present allowing your mind to remain there for a while. If the past and the future feel too heavy to consider, this approach can help you remain in the current moment surrounding you, which is enough. Spend some time practicing your favorite hobbies and focus your attention on that as a restorative activity.

It is important to acknowledge that these things are not easy to do when battling grief and isolation, but nothing about loss is easy. These recommendations are not quick fixes but there are no quick fixes to loss. Grief is undoubtedly a painful journey. We hope these strategies can help over time. Please remember that Niagara Hospice is here for you and your family. You can learn more here.

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