Coping with loss
Sadly, loss has been with us since our first ancestors mourned the death of a loved one. However, the coronavirus pandemic has created more loss for so many more people than perhaps has been felt since we were last at war.
A challenge with loss during the pandemic was that we were in lockdown, so we couldn't comfort each other the way we had before.
We weren't able to mourn or attend the funeral of someone we cared about due to restrictions.
Even as restrictions ease, the pandemic is still with us, and the pain and loss of those we held dear remain an emotional challenge we are working through, in the face of all the other challenges we find ourselves facing.
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. The loss of the person reminds us of our mortality. We all kind of know no one lives forever, but it's not something we dwell on too much!
Coverage of COVID19 has been a constant reminder of 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.
Be kind to yourself and each other now, as only now is real and 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.
Our reaction to pain and loss and what we expect of ourselves and each other can only add to the difficulties when we 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 nice, but they are natural.
Allowing ourselves to grieve, to be sad, to cry is part of the process of healing. There are no wise words anyone can say to take away the pain, hurt, anger even guilt that goes along with the death of a loved one. Sometimes, all we can do when we see someone hurting is let them know they are not alone.
There is a Scottish Bereavement charter www.sad.scot.nhs.uk/bereavement-charter because grief does matter.
The more effective we are at helping grieving people, 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 that promotes being there for each other, we can maybe suffer less when it matters.
This wee tips sheet offers some small ideas which may help someone who is grieving suffer less.
Sometimes, we can help people suffer less and let them know they are not alone.
"She heard him mutter, 'Can you take away this grief?'Terry Pratchett, 'I Shall Wear Midnight'
'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."
Be kind to yourself and each other now, as only now is real and 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.