A Group Conversation about Covid-19 and How We Cope

In June 2020, a group of seven bereaved individuals took part in a Topics Around Grief discussion workshop entitled “How Covid-19 has coloured our [existing] grief?”

Below is a summary of the challenges they identified, as well as their observations made regarding coping.

Note: it’s important to emphasise that what we find challenging is often very individual, although we can find commonality, too. So, the challenges listed below were not always shared across the group. This was the same with coping mechanisms and benefits identified. What works for one, may not work for another.

 

Challenges identified

  • Covid-19 tops us participating social activities (we need time to get out, do things, spend face-to-face time with people)
  • being at home, away from social support familiarity, can leave us feeling more vulnerable than perhaps anticipated
  • Greatly restricted opportunities for travel
  • The isolation can be difficult
  • Less opportunity (and sometimes incentive) to exercise / we are often restricted from being vigorously active
  • Restrictions in visiting other family members, friends, etc.
  • So much change going on with Covid-19, that it makes any other “normal”, inevitable change scary.
  • Missing hugs, seeing people face-to-face
  • Can exacerbate our existing grief
  • Alternately, can force us to put our grief on hold (our grief can run the risk of “boiling over”)

 

Important Points in Coping

  • Need crying time amidst all the impacts of Covid-19
  • Expressive writing to deal with difficult moments
  • Work / projects / hobbies can help adapt to the isolation (the commitment to these tasks can help us cope)
  • Valuable philosophy / personal reminder: one can be alone but not lonely
  • Sometimes, it can be nice not to travel (e.g. work commutes)
  • Using technology as the new mean to communicate with others during this time has been a positive change amidst Covid-19
  • Random acts of kindness can be beneficial to both deliver and receive