What Should I Do When a Loved One Passes from COVID-19?

July 17, 2020 11:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to hundreds of thousands of families in the United States, and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. As our loved ones die from this virus, it can be particularly hard on family members who are unable to be with their sick loved ones and attend their funerals.

Passing from COVID-19 requires some unique grief management and coping mechanisms in Chicago, IL. Here’s what the experts say to do, in order to deal with your grief in a healthy manner.

What to do when you get the news

Due to the highly transmissible nature of the virus, your loved one more than likely passed in a hospital, nursing home or other care facility, and visitors were probably prohibited or severely limited. When you get the news that your loved one died, it may come from a staff member at that care facility.

Depending on the circumstances of the death and who is notifying you, they may or may not have any details on how the person died, when and who was present. Although you can try to be prepared for this situation, it’s often extremely difficult for family members to accept—especially because the person’s personal effects may not be available for pickup in a timely manner, and because the funeral process is particularly bleak right now.

When you get this news, be sure to let a trusted family member or friend know. They may be able to help you give the news to others, and explain to children in age-appropriate ways what has happened and what to expect. Teenagers should be given the facts just as you would an adult, but be prepared for them to have questions and comments for you.

Managing your initial grief

Grief tends to impact us in many different ways, from our emotions to how well we’re able to function at work. If your grief isn’t properly acknowledged and dealt with, you could suffer from “disenfranchised grief,” the feeling one gets when it seems like no one around them understands what they’re going through. This is exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s important that you’re aware there’s no one “correct” way to grieve a loss, and you should give yourself (and others) the space you need to deal with the death.

Dealing with collective grief

Collective grief is grieving within a specific community, culture or even family. Having the support of your family and friends during this difficult time is often a healing process, but COVID-19 restrictions make it difficult to get together with others. Try using technology, phone calls and even socially-distanced get-togethers to mourn together.

As always, therapy is one of the best options you can pursue if you’re dealing with a loss. Many therapists are seeing clients via video conference, so you can cope with your feelings even during the pandemic.

If you’re suffering from a COVID-19 related loss and need help with grief management in Chicago, IL, Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. is a compassionate and caring funeral home with years of experience. Call us today to learn more.

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