Resuming to a New Normal: Life After Loss During the Pandemic
More and more people are venturing out and attempting to resume normal life. Vaccinations are being distributed. The warm air allows people to visit outside more comfortably. Families are planning vacations. And there is a glimpse of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. But if you lost a loved one in the past year, life is anything but normal and resuming to the life you once had seems daunting and nearly impossible. Maybe you were not able to have a traditional memorial service. Or you have not been able to gather with those that support you. As things resume to a new normal for society, those that have had to mourn privately are now faced with a new challenge: reinventing a new life.
This recommencing will look different for many. This might mean meeting an old friend for lunch, joining a new place of worship, or planning a memorial service that you feel your loved one deserves. No matter how you have coped during the pandemic, many have felt that they have been in survival mode. Just getting by. And it is best to practice self-compassion for what you have endured. Your feelings are valid. Honor them by expressing them in a journal, telling a friend or joining a grief group. Although we have all survived through this pandemic, if you lost a loved one during this time, you may feel a great deal of injustice. It is ok to have an adult temper tantrum. Instead of pushing the anger down, try to do something that validates it. Physical exertion can be an amazing tool to disperse negative energy within the body. Screaming and listening to aggressive music can also help. You are not alone in your feelings.
Your grief beckons to be witnessed and validated by others. As people begin to gather more, there are several events that Baue Funeral Homes is hosting to support you in your time of need. Getting out and about may be difficult at first. Be kind to yourself during this process. Allow yourself to go and then leave early if needed. Nurture your body and soul and after being out with others. Enjoy your favorite cup of tea or buy yourself a bouquet of flowers to admire and smell. You have made it through a horrific time. Flowers and tea are not going to fix your grief, but it will make you feel a little better in the moment. Baue Funeral Homes hope to provide solace, comfort, and support in your grief. Please join them for one of the many opportunities up ahead to gather and honor your emotions.
Written by Kristen Ernst, MA, LPC
Kristen Ernst, MA, LPC is owner and operator of the Center for Hope & Healing in St Charles, Missouri. Kristen has years of experience counseling hospice patients and their families. Her private practice concentrates on grief and traumatic loss. She also contributes as a specialist in grief support as a group facilitator, writer, and educator in the community.