Christmas is a time of joy and celebration that everyone likes to enjoy as a family. However, for many it is painful to go without a loved one, especially if they have lost it this year due to the pandemic.
That’s why to cope with the pain of that loss, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a series of practical recommendations.
Some steps you can take to help you cope with grieving feelings after the loss of a loved one include:
- Connect with other people
- Tell people to call you or set up conference calls with family and friends to stay connected.
- Ask family and friends to share stories and send photos by post, email, phone, or video conference, or through photo sharing applications or social media (eg, group chat, group messaging, Facebook).
- Set up a date and time for family and friends to pay tribute by reciting a certain poem, spiritual reading, or prayer from your own family.
- Create memories or rituals.
- Create a virtual scrapbook, blog, or website to remember your loved one and ask family and friends to include their stories and memories.
- Do activities that are meaningful to you and that you shared with the person you lost, such as planting a tree or preparing a favorite meal, in honor of your loved one’s memory.
- Use mental health or grief therapy services, support groups, or hotlines, especially those services that can be offered over the phone or online.
- Seek spiritual help from faith organizations, such as religious leaders and congregations, if possible.
- Seek the support of other community leaders and trusted friends.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the family and close friends of the person killed by COVID-19 may be stigmatized, meaning that they may be avoided or rejected by others.
Stigma hurts everyone by generating fear or anger toward other people. Some people who would normally come to you may avoid being in contact with you, your family and friends.
Stigmas related to COVID-19 are likely to be less prevalent when people know the information and share it with the rest of their family, friends, and other community members.
To support a child who is grieving:
- Ask him questions to determine his emotional state and better understand his perception of the situation.
- Allow him to feel pain and let him speak and express his thoughts and feelings in creative ways.
- Provide answers according to their age and level of maturity.
- Maintain a routine as much as possible.
- Spend time with your child, whether it’s reading, painting, or doing other activities the child enjoys.