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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing grief, even though they may not have experienced the death of a loved one or friend. This is known as a living loss. It is important to identify these symptoms and learn ways to navigate grief.
What Is a Living Loss?
A living loss is grief without a death. Because of COVID-19, people have lost a part of their everyday lives as they stay at home and limit in-person socializing. Experiencing grief is not limited to a physical death and is a normal response to the loss of the life one used to live before a life-changing event, such as a pandemic.
During this time, people are experiencing a variety of losses, including loss of financial security, loss of control, loss of events (weddings, graduations, parties, etc.), and loss of connection to others. These losses can impact our emotional, mental and physical well-being.
“Grief is a natural response to loss. During this pandemic, we have all lost living our lives as we once did and what was considered normalcy,” said Michelle Kessler, bereavement coordinator at Community Care Hospice.
What Are Some Symptoms of Grief?
The grief you feel with a living loss can be similar to the grief you feel with a death. People can feel a variety of grief symptoms including:
Developing healthy coping skills can help us navigate grief successfully.
How Do We Navigate Grief During COVID-19?
Strategies to cope with grief are not a one-size fits all. Some strategies that have been helpful for others are: