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Bereavement can be a very painful experience in any situation. However, during the past few months, bereavement has been taking place under complex and challenging circumstances due to a number of changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. These changes have impacted the ways we show our care towards our loved ones during their last moments of their lives, the way we go about saying goodbye, the way we can access support. In this blog, I will be sharing a few thoughts for anyone who is struggling with the process of grief during these particularly challenging times.

Supporting ourselves through difficult emotions

Guilt is an emotion that is often strongly experienced while we are grieving. In the current circumstances, this feeling of guilt might be felt even more strongly due to situations where we might not have been able to visit a loved one while they were in hospital. We may also find ourselves experiencing strong anger towards the current situation for having robbed us from the opportunity to say goodbye to our loved one. These emotions are big and difficult to carry, albeit a very natural part of the process of grief. Support yourself, even through doing things that may perhaps seem simple, such as remembering and encouraging yourself to eat and drink plenty of water, doing things that help you rest or replenish some of your energy, shower or having a bath, washing your hair.

Reaching out to others

Reach out to others. Rituals and traditions are an important way for us to give meaning to what we go through. Be it gathering with family members around a loved one during the moment of their passing, participating in mass for a funeral, the sharing of music or food, gathering at the grave; these traditions are all there to, amongst other reasons, support us in sharing our experience of the loss of a loved one. These traditions have been impacted by the current measures and restrictions, nonetheless, be creative to still find ways to reach out to those who help you feel supported and those you can share your experience with. While you may not always be able to meet up, hug the people you love, cry on their shoulders; they are still there. Message, call, let them know that you are struggling, so that they know that you need their support. Always remember that the support of professionals is also there for you if you wish to reach out to someone in this way.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.