COVID & The Grief That Comes With It

The pandemic has affected every one of us and at different levels. Dr. Karin Ryan from Nystrom & Associates has advice on dealing with the sadness and disappointment that comes with Covid-19.

  1. The worst kind of grief is our own. It is not helpful to compare who has is worse or not as bad.  It is not either/or it is both/and.  (I am sad about my loss and care about the loss of others.  I am grieving this loss and feel comforted by friends.)  This year we are all surrounded by grief, a thousand little losses and for some of us, huge losses.  We are in collective grief and individual personal grief.
  2. To best support a friend or loved on in their loss, do not try to fix it, letting them be sad with you is what they need most.
  3. It is helpful to remember that grief presents differently in different people.  All ways are normal because there is no normal. It may present as: tearfulness, anger, wanting to talk, needing quite, feeling frozen, feeling restless, physical manifestations, spiritual changes, leaning on friends, withdrawing from friends.  Therefore take time to check in and identify what would feel most helpful to you.  One day at a time.
  4. Grief can be masked in children. As a parent it is helpful to have it on your radar and watch for it.  For example a kid who has a tantrum about what is for dinner might actually be feeling loss and frustration about distance learning and all the changes due to COVID.  Being patient and pulling back and seeing what might be underneath and then giving the child comfort and time to talk can be very helpful.
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