Today’s blog is to recognise that while we’re all grieving the loss of our normal life right now, others are grieving the loss of their relatives, the loss of pets, the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of health, or their career. All the above experiences are real grief. However, everyone is grieving differently to you. 
 
When you compare one grief to another, it automatically robs dignity from the person who’s made to feel as if their loss isn’t as big, for whatever reason. It also takes away from the fact that all grief is experienced at 100%. 
Comparing losses and grief
To quote the Faithless song, Insomnia, we are hearing about a lot of people who ‘can’t get no sleep’. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can impact our immune system and our mood. A lack of sleep can make us feel worse. 
 
A disrupted sleep pattern is a very common response to grief (if this is the first of our Coronavirus blogs that you’re reading, we’ve identified that we’re all grieving our loss of normal). Whether it’s not enough sleep, or sleeping too much, or both, alternately, this is a perfectly normal and natural response to loss and anxiety. 
Can't sleep during quarantine
From an early age we have learned to deal with sad, negative emotions incorrectly, and we end up storing this energy inside. An example of this would be a child coming home from school feeling sad about an argument with a friend and they’re given a biscuit by their mother ‘to feel better.’ In that moment, they’ve been given a message that feelings can be fixed with food. The feelings are now buried under the biscuit and the distraction. In times of crisis, we turn to our old and learned ideas to deal with them. 
Burying feelings with food
When someone you love, or are close to dies, it’s hard enough, but suddenly things have changed. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who are now not able to share last moments with their loved ones who have been hospitalised with COVID-19, who can’t see family for a hug, and instead have to self-isolate after a loss. 
 
The order of things has been turned upside-down. People can’t say goodbye in the way they would expect. There may be a ‘guilt’ element that your loved one has died alone, even though it’s out of your control. Lives and indeed relationships have suddenly been cut short. And then the funeral. Many friends and relatives have had the ritual of saying goodbye taken away from them; something that is part of the normal grieving process. 
Not being able to say goodbye
 
Have you ever heard the expression, “Little donkeys have big ears!”? 
 
We’re not for a moment comparing children to donkeys but the same principle applies! Children pick up and hear far more than we give them credit for. They hear snippets of adult conversations and can hear the news blaring from television sets and radios. They spent their last couple of weeks at school learning to wash their hands to funny songs because of ‘the virus’. Put it this way, it would have been hard to shield them from any kind of knowledge of the Coronavirus. 
Talking to Children about Coronavirus
 
You might be forgiven for thinking that our name, Grief Recovery is aimed at people dealing with bereavement. However, it seemed fitting at this time to reach out to everyone who is in lockdown, quarantine, isolated on their own, or is having to go out to work. 
 
In this unprecedented time, we’re all experiencing the loss of our lives, routines, work, family, friends, freedom. 
There is also a huge fear factor; fear of the unknown, fear of catching the virus, fear of others, and fear of the loss of control. Coming to terms with this is not something we’re used to. 
Grief and Coronavirus
We’ve seen plenty of posts on Facebook this week with stories of people feeling lonely, worried, sad, and even grieving. When you scroll through the comments to those posts, a common response has been ‘Be Strong.’ ‘Be strong’ is often a standard response given to grievers. In this moment in time, we have already identified that we’re all grievers, grieving our normal lives, or perhaps already grieving the loss of a loved one. 
 
The trouble is, other people aren’t always equipped to help us deal with loss and they don’t really know what to say. 
When people tell you to be strong
If you work with children in an educational setting, hospital, professional practice or elsewhere, you may have heard about Adverse Childhood Events, or ACEs. 
 
Adverse Childhood Events can include traumatic events, parental separation, violence, family substance misuse, family mental health problems and other events that impact young people between 0 and 17 years of age. ACEs are common, and those who have experienced 4 or more have a much higher likelihood of exhibiting developmental disruptions, social, emotional and learning problems and poor health and wellbeing outcomes later on in life. 
Adverse Childhood Events
Are you dragging a heavy load of pain with you as you go about life? 
 
Here are some signs: 
 
1. You find it harder to be amused by jokes or things meant to be funny. 
 
2. You’re tired and irritable but don’t understand why. 
 
3. There are certain topics/songs/films/places you avoid because they remind you of something uncomfortable in your past. 
 
4. You seem to be angry at something but you can’t put your finger on what that is. 
 
5. You numb out on TV, food, your phone or other “guilty pleasures” whenever you start to feel sad. 
 
All of us are burdened by certain events or relationships that weigh us down. The trouble is, over time we get so used to carrying this extra weight that we don’t even notice it’s there anymore (or remember how it got there). 
tired from past losses
"Happy Valentine's Day?" Whether this holiday makes you sad, angry or goes by without notice, here are some tips for getting through the day if you feel triggered by the roses, sweets and hearts. 
How to survive Valentine's Day
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