Death is a mystery. As you come to terms with the loss of a loved one, develop a support network, adjust to a life without the deceased and take care of yourself
Losing a loved one is very tough. It gets worse when this is the person you spend half the day with. What this means is that you share a huge chunk of your future dreams. When death comes knocking especially in an unusual manner, as is the case with over half a million families due to Covid-19, lives get shattered. Death in whatever manner is very painful, but when it comes due to a disease that does not offer an opportunity for loved ones to say goodbye, yet they are at the point when the end seems nigh, pain fills the air. Many unanswered questions remain to haunt affected families and friends.
From the onset of Covid-19 – a communicable respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus that causes illness in humans – a wife has lost a dear husband. A husband has lost a dear wife. The life of some children has been shattered and their dreams may never be realized. A mother and father are mourning the loss of a dear child. The list will go on and on. Families are bitter and hearts are bleeding. In the middle of such confusion and anger, there are certain steps that will help the deceased’s family cope with grief.
1. Work through the pain after death
Different people react to pain differently. However, ultimately, the physical, mental and spiritual pain has to be experienced. In the African culture, affected people are always urged to remain strong. The big question here is; what does it mean to be strong when your whole life is crumbling? Common phrases during grief such as it is well, sorry for the loss, accept and move on, and many more may be meaningless during such periods.
Friends and family should allow the affected person to express their grief and mourn fully at the early stages of the process. If this stage is skipped, the affected person could turn into denial and later depression.
2. Adjust to a life without the deceased
This is the most difficult stage – life without that significant other. You had these big plans – to move to the city, save together and buy a car. If you are a parent, your son could have been planning to build you a house, set up a business for you. If you are a brother or sister, this might be the person who was paying school fees for you or the shoulder on which you leaned on. This person is no more and life has to continue. After the loss of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg had difficulties adjusting to life without him. “I was coming to the 30-day period after the burial, which is the Jewish period of mourning for a spouse, called “sheloshim,” and I felt worse and worse,” she is quoted in article published at Business Insider. She would write daily posts but did not have the courage to share with the world. “One day I thought, ‘This is not the end of mourning. I could not feel less like it’s the end of mourning.’ I just said to myself, you know what, it’s not going to get worse, but it just might get better. And I hit “post.” She confessed that that sharing was one of the better things she did, because it really changed the reaction of the people around her
3. Take care of yourself
When a loved one dies, grieve without pretending that things are normal. It is okay and healthy to cry. When you need help, talk to friends and family. Seeking professional help is even better as this hastens the healing. Identify and participate in those activities that are fun for you and spend time with people who are special in your life. Above all, seek God when you feel overwhelmed. The Holy Bible in the book of Isaiah 41: 10, God promises to be with you through your period of grief. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).