Posts tagged “How to help bereaved loved ones”

As Lockdown starts to ease, you may find that everything you felt at the start of Lockdown makes a return. We know that what is coming is going to be different to what we’ve become used to. We’ve all been experiencing the loss of our lives, routines, work, family, friends, freedom and have been getting used to our ‘new normal.’ Now our ‘new normal’ is changing again. 
 
Many of us have had weeks of being at home with a sense of safety from staying within our four walls. You may well start to experience a huge fear factor of going out; 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 going to take some getting used to. 
Children will fall behind because of lockdown
As the planned reopening of schools is being outlined by the Prime Minster, how are you feeling? We are hearing about lots of teachers feeling angry about the potential loss of their own safety and the safety of the children in their care. There seems to be a loss of faith in the government and the Department for Education. 
 
While many teachers have provided an essential service for Key Workers’ children and the most vulnerable, putting themselves and their families at risk since lockdown, the school environment has been carefully managed. Allowing whole classes back into school provides a host of new problems, especially given the ages of Reception and Year 1 pupils, such as ensuring social distancing, crowded lunch halls, children hugging each other, or young children falling over and needing care. How is the government going to put measures in place for these incidences and make sure your school is COVID Secure? 
The third step on our 5-point plan for living through lockdown is being emotionally honest. (Take a look at Step 1: Acknowledge everything and Step 2: Be present if you missed them.) 
 
A quote used in the Grief Recovery Training is “Love is the product of truthful communication,” and whether we’re talking romantic love or any relationship, when we’re emotionally honest everything works better. For example, “I have a lot to do, I would really appreciate you taking the rubbish out,” is less likely to cause an argument than “Why do you never take the rubbish out?” 
 
The first is what you’re feeling is on the matter, the latter is a criticism. If you try to stick to what’s true for you and express it, you are more likely to be heard
‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.’ 
We all spend so much of our lives time travelling, we barely notice it. Travelling into the past with our thoughts to find things to beat ourselves up with, then projecting ourselves into the future to worry, creating stress, anxiety and pain, much of which could be avoided if we simply stayed in the present
 
In fact, it's so important that we've included it on our 5-point plan for living through lockdown. (If you missed Step 1, Acknowledge everything, click here.) 
Today we’re starting the journey of taking you through our Living Through Lockdown 5-Point Plan, starting with Acknowledge Everything. Has your standard response to ‘how are you feeling’ become ‘I’m fine’ when people ask, but underneath you’re thinking, ‘I’m anything but fine’? The likelihood is that you’re going through a whole raft of emotions right now, which change throughout the course of the day. There will be good days and bad days. 
As we are all witnessing, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. Many of us are starting to be touched directly or indirectly by this awful virus. We have seen with our own Prime Minister that this virus can strike anyone. Today’s post is about starting the process of getting your relationships in as good a place as possible, so that whatever happens, you feel at peace with your loved ones. 
 
We’ve come up with a 5-point plan that you can apply to any of your relationships: 
 
 
We will go through each point in detail, so you can apply the points to your relationships. 
Living Through Lockdown a 5 Point Plan
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
 
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
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