Grieving during covid
Grieving during ‘normal’ times is hard. Grieving during covid is even harder. In my culture, when someone passes away, we all get together to send them off. We all come together to say our goodbyes. Death signals an end to our time on earth. When a loved one dies, we take time to reflect, to remember them and to mourn them. To mourn that we will not see them again, to mourn that we will not be able to talk to them anymore, to mourn that they will not be a part of our lives going forward. We come together to see them one last time and before we bury them and go back to our lives.
That is how we have always done things. But then covid…
Last week I received news that a very good friend of mine had passed away due to covid. I was also informed that her sister had passed away in June due to covid. I cried. I felt so helpless. The next day I was told of another loved one’s death from covid, and another one that afternoon. By the end of the week, I had been hearing of loved ones dying from covid daily. Of course I was overwhelmed. Of course I was tired (more like fatigued really).
Even if I was in Botswana, I would probably not be attending the funerals because of covid. The beauty of technology is that I can attend all these funerals, but it’s not the same. It doesn’t feel the same. It won’t be the same.
Today I woke up to news of another death. I know I am not the only one who is exhausted. How do you stay sane and keep yourself together?
There are a few things I have been doing to keep myself from getting overwhelmed:
I believe in God! I believe that even though nothing seems to make sense with regards to this virus, God is still God! He has never let us down and he will never let us down. Talking to God always calms me down.
Yep, a good old cry! We don’t cry enough these days. We all want to be strong! Crying is a way of letting our fear, our anger, our frustrations and our sadness out! We need to relearn how to cry and to actually cry when we need to.
Take a break! Just stop to catch a breath! I struggle with that a lot. Because I don’t want to appear weak, I don’t take as many breaks as I need to. After all, we are all strong right? This thing of wanting to be strong all the time will kill us. We are all human, superman and superwoman are not real. We all need breaks at various times in our lives. To regroup, to replenish, to rebuild and regrow.
Focus on the good
There is so much bad happening in the world its easy to think that its all doom and gloom in the world. When I was told that my friend had died, I was in denial. Then shocked, then angry, then sad and hopeless. But then I started thinking about her, thinking about her life. Thinking about how she had goals and how though her life was cut short by covid, she had met the bulk of them. She did all the things she loved, never for a minute thinking anything was impossible. I admired that about her. The first time I met her was at work and she was so positive and full of energy. She loved life and had all these dreams and she would listen to me and encourage me to follow my dreams. That was who she is. There is a lot of good in the world. There is beauty, there is love, there are friends and family. Focus on your loved ones and on the good in your life.