During gentler times, the best thing that we could offer to our loved ones during their time of grief was a hug, a helping hand, and simply our physical presence. But now, the pandemic of Covid-19 and the resultant regulations have robbed us of these privileges, leaving a heavy impact on the grieving family as well as others.
When socially distant, hearing the news about the demise over a text or a call may bring over a sense of helplessness. It becomes difficult to turn our feelings into textable vocabulary, and we may not understand what to do for the grieving loved one.
Since the bereaved isn’t able to get managerial and emotional support, their loss becomes bigger.
Here are some things to keep in mind while supporting a grieving friend:
1. Allow them to feel their pain
Loss during times of pandemic may be sudden or unexpected. The bereaved is probably going through a series of emotions ranging from sorrow to anger. Know that you can’t fix their life. Acknowledge that the loss hurts and the pain cannot get better in just a day. The single best thing to do is to listen to them and just be there!
2. Find different ways to check-in
Some examples include:
- Offering to deliver food at their home or doing their chores for them
- Sending a thoughtful text or email
- If possible, going for a simple walk around the neighbourhood
- Make constant efforts for a video chat
- Ask them and arrange for an online memorial service
3. Remind them that they are not alone
Grieving during a pandemic can get really lonely. The bereaved may have many responsibilities on them, including arranging for the last rites, house chores, and taking care of other family members.
Especially at this time, the bereaved must know that you are there for them, and they don’t have to do everything themselves. Arrange services for them or drop in messages, making them feel a little less lonely.
4. Don’t always expect a reply
While it is crucial that from your end to check up on the grieving friend, remember that they currently have a lot on their plate. The whole experience of a loss in the family is overwhelming and can be a lot to handle. Give them their necessary space, and don’t always expect a reply.
5. Lastly, don’t give up on them
Only the person going through the pain of the loss can know what it is like to be in their situation. Even if the grieving friend doesn’t respond or get back after a few calls, be empathetic and understand their situation. They may not be feeling up to it, but probably in the near future, they will get back to you and allow you to be there for them.