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Coping with loss

Coping with loss

COVID19 is taking so much from us. Being able to go to the park and have a picnic when we want to. 

Go a run in the car, stop somewhere for lunch. 

Be able to open the doors of our wee business it took us 25 years to build. Be able to get up, get ready and head out to work, school, college. The list goes on.

For most of us, these limits on our movements are short term, things will begin to ease up and while the world may be changed as a result of what we have all been through, and, it may take time to get used to these new changes, we will be here, to have the life to make those adjustments.

Sadly some people won't be here when the restrictions end and for those who knew and loved them, the world will be altered forever as they have gone, and no matter what challenges there may be rebuilding after COVID19, they won't be here to help us.

Grief and loss are part of the human condition, not a nice part, not a part anyone wants to embrace, but as a wise man once said

'' Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch'' Judah Halevi

Grief is part of the life cycle and as well as mourning the loss of the person who has gone, we may also feel a sense of unease as the loss of another close to us, reminds us of our own mortality. We all kind of know no one gets forever, but it's not something we dwell on too much!

Coverage of COVID19, the sense no one is safe, no one knows if they get it if they will make it, the images of intensive care units, field hospitals waiting on those still to become unwell and maybe die, flood our TV screens every day, a constant reminder at the fragility of the human condition

However, humans are incredibly resilient and can cope with more pain and loss than we can imagine. 

That is the challenge, our imagined reaction to pain and loss and what we expect of ourselves and each other can only add to the challenges when we do experience loss. We are sad, hurt, fearful of the future, none of these emotions are pleasant so we want them to go away. 

They may not be pleasant, but they are natural. 

Allowing ourselves to grieve, to be sad, to cry is part of the process of healing. 

There are no smart words anyone can say to take away the pain, hurt, anger even guilt which goes along with the death of a loved one. Sometimes all any of us can do when we see someone hurting is let them know, they are not alone.

It is timely the launch of the new Scottish Bereavement charter - www.sad.scot.nhs.uk/bereavement-charter

Because grief does matter and the more effective we are at helping people who are grieving, the more information and support people have to manage their grief, the less suffering people may need to endure. 

Pain yes, as we cannot lose someone we love and not be upset by our loss, but, in a society which promotes being there for each other, when it matters, we can maybe suffer less.

COVID19 is taking much from us, but it cannot take everything. 

Following the rules maybe we can help fewer families face the heartache of losing someone before their time. While we are social distancing we can still find ways to help those who are grieving and be for them, when this is over, as in time it will be, they too will begin to rebuild their lives and may need our help to do so.

This wee tips sheet offers some small ideas which may help someone who is grieving suffer less. Sometimes all we can do is offer something to help people suffer less and let them know they are not alone - People care

''She heard him mutter, 'Can you take away this grief?'
'I'm sorry,' she replied. 'Everyone asks me. And I would not do so even if I knew how. It belongs to you. Only time and tears take away grief; that is what they are for."

Terry Pratchett, 'I Shall Wear Midnight'

Be kind to yourself and each other now, as only now is real and it matters, we all do. Life can be like the weather, wet, windy and stormy, but each day brings the hope of the sun coming back and one day it will give it time. Know people care.

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