The current situation means that we are missing out on many things that we would consider normal. From hanging out with friends to going to school, lots of our usual routine has been affected by the current necessary social distancing measures.
The most difficult part of the quarantine is that we do not get to say goodbye to loved ones in the way that we usually can. Whether you’ve lost someone to Covid-19, old age, or in any other circumstance, we’re currently trying to find new ways to cope with loss and grief and saying goodbye.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one, remember that you are not alone.
While you may not have gotten to go to a funeral or have a proper wake, there is a lot you can do right now to acknowledge the loss.
The Irish Hospice Foundation, which is a charity that deals with end of life care, has issued some advice for teens who are going through bereavement right now.
You can’t meet up with all your friends, cousins or other family members, but you can organise something virtually. Being a teenager means you probably have the best understanding on the internet and social media than many in your family. You can use this to help to cope and to help others in our family too.
Set up a virtual memorial on social media: You can make a Facebook page, or blog site where you can encourage people to leave messages about the person who died.
Organise a video memorial: Link up with friends or family on a video chat, in which you can each say something about the person you love, or read a poem, play a song, or say a prayer. This can help you to all feel more connected at this difficult time.
Find grief support: Websites like Hospice Foundation, Aftering and Barnardos can help you to understand your grief a little more. You can also find shows and podcasts which deal with grief, like The Grief Cast and Grief Encounters.
Connecting with people: Friends who you aren’t seeing in school every day might not know about your loss, but it’s totally fine to reach out to a friend and let them know and explain that talking could be helpful. You can let them know by saying: “I just need a friend to talk to about my granny right now” or, “I’m sad about my uncle today, could we chat for a while to take my mind off it”.
Of course, time away from your phone is really important too, and there is lots you can do offline to help you deal with your hard time.
Write it down:
It can help to put pen to paper and write how you’re feeling. Keeping a diary by your bed to write when your sad or when you have memories of the person is a good way to take note of your feelings. You can also write a letter to the person who’s passed away to say all the things you’d like them to know.
Or bake, or create. Making something when you’re feeling down can be a huge help if you feel like it. Planting something is a good way to have something to nurture and care for and focus on.
Remember that you can hug the people who live with you. You don’t have to maintain social distancing from the people who live in your house so if you’re feeling sad or down, don’t be afraid to ask for a hug from someone you love. You’d be surprised how something so simple can make you feel better.
Accept your emotions:
You’re not going to just cry about your loss one day and be fine after that. Maybe you’ll cry a lot, maybe you won’t cry at all. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and it’s important to accept that you’ll go through lots of emotions about your loss. Make sure to let your parent or guardian know how you’re feeling so that they can help.
Remember you’re not alone and that there is no pressure for you to pretend that you’re okay when you’re not.