Loss and Transition

There is a wide range of very “normal” responses to loss, and grief can affect us in every part of our being – emotional, physical, cognitive, relational, and spiritual (meaning-making). It is essential to realize that the unfolding process is full of ups and downs, although there are “maps” can help guide us on the journey. Most important, the journey takes as long as it takes for each of us individually.

The availability of genuine support is hugely important; we know this from experience as well as from research. For some, that support comes through an intimate partner, family, friends, and various kinds of communities; others have less resources available. Either way, working with a grief counselor can be helpful in a unique way, since this is someone who has an in-depth understanding (and usually, personal experience) of grief, as well as familiarity with the essential principles of helping the griever through the process.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating an unprecedented situation which affects the grieving process of thousands of people. If a loved one with COVID is hospitalized, it may not be possible to visit or be with them when they are dying. Family members and close friends may be prevented from being present in the last days or after a death due to travel restrictions and fear of spreading the virus. Social distancing means that funeral services may be impossible or significantly limited in terms of the number of participants allowed. The unknowns and uncertainties that currently surround us contribute to the emotional pain and limit grievers’ access to social support, which is so crucial. All of us need to be aware of the COVID impact on grievers and the grief process, and look for ways to offer our loving presence.

If you are interested in learning more, click on the Contact page and then on Resources, and you will find some handouts that may be useful.