Showing posts with label Pandemic Loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pandemic Loss. Show all posts

To Read: 'To Me He's Not A Number': Families Reflect As U.S. Passes 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

'To Me He's Not A Number': Families Reflect As U.S. Passes 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths by Melissa Block | MPR Morning Edition (February 22, 2021)

"How do we wrap our minds around the fact that more than half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States alone?

The nation just passed that milestone: 500,000 lives lost, in one year.

For the families of those who died of COVID-19, each successive milestone of this pandemic may seem irrelevant to their particular, punishing loss.

[. . . ]

"The larger the numbers are," he says, "the harder it is to feel the empathy anymore. And I don't know how we make that empathy personal again. ... Our brains are not good with big numbers."

"It just won't stop growing"

The sheer weight of those numbers can tend to dwarf the individual stories behind each person who died. What does it mean when you're just one of half a million?

To Read: It's Okay to Grieve for the Small Losses of a Lost Year

It’s OK to Grieve for the Small Losses of a Lost Year By Tara Parker-Pope | The New York Times (3/15/21)

"In the hierarchy of human suffering during the pandemic, a canceled prom, a lost vacation or missing out on seeing a child’s first steps may not sound like much, but mental health experts say that all loss needs to be acknowledged and grieved.

'People don’t feel like they have the right to grieve,' said Lisa S. Zoll, a licensed clinical social worker in Lemoyne, Pa., who specializes in grief counseling. 'A year into this, the losses are piling up. I just had this conversation in my office when this person said, "I can’t complain about my grief, because people have it worse." But we have to correct that thinking. Your grief is your grief. You can’t compare it to other people’s.'"

To Read: When COVID Upended Her Career Plans, A Local Mortician Stepped Forward To Help Families Deal With Death

When COVID Upended Her Career Plans, A Local Mortician Stepped Forward To Help Families Deal With Death By Andy Steiner | MinnPost (6/2/20)

"Woosley had grown increasingly disenchanted with the modern Western approach to death and dying, the idea that families needed to be separated from their deceased loved ones, that funerals must take place in impersonal chapels, that the terminally ill must spend their last months on earth fighting death rather than reflecting on their lives."

"She gave her notice at the university, earned end-of-life doula and funeral celebrant certifications, created a website and set out to build connections for her business. “My next step was going to be outreach to nursing homes and senior living facilities, to start forming connections with staff and residents,” she said.

Then everything changed."

To Read: Coronavirus and How It Has Changed the Way We Grieve

Coronavirus and How It Has Changed the Way We Grieve by Jen Laskey | (Apr 30, 2020)

"The coronavirus has really changed the way we grieve. Not only are the distancing measures we’re taking to prevent the spread of infection keeping us from being with our loved ones in their last moments, this pandemic has completely changed the way we mourn with others."

To Read: Almost 90,000 Dead and No Hint of National Mourning

Almost 90,000 Dead and No Hint of National Mourning. Are These Deaths Not ‘Ours’? By Micki McElya | Washington Post (5/15/20) 

"In fact, there is a conspicuous absence of any collective mourning at all. The reason is as simple as it is terrible: We share no understanding of these staggering losses as ours, as belonging to all Americans, as national."

"Americans have a common set of expectations and rituals for responding to national losses, whether they’re from war, terrorism, school shootings, natural disasters or assassinations. ...The pandemic dead have received almost none of this, and the omission is significant — even if the dying is still just beginning. Shared grief brings people together like little else. In the absence of the common bonds of kinship, place, language, faith or heritage, national identity is forged in ritual and the sense of shared experience among strangers, the vast majority of whom will never know one another. It is made of feeling and remembering together. 

The English poet Laurie Lee put it this way in “Lying in State,” about the public memorializing of Winston Churchill at his death: 'Every resounding event seems to be followed by silence as history catches its breath. So it is this morning in this great bare hall — a silence like a fall of snow, holding the city and the world in a moment of profound reflection, reducing all men to a levelled pause.'"

To Read: Dealing with the Death of a Colleague in the Workplace

 Dealing with the Death of a Colleague in the Workplace By Liann Starr | Fast Company (8/8/19)

"For a lot of workers, the fact they have any reaction at all to the death of an acquaintance—someone they may have only chatted with in the office kitchen—is jarring. 'People think, ‘Why am I feeling this?’ But sometimes working with someone for five years can be, unfortunately, more significant than the time we spend with good friends,' says Litsa Williams, cofounder of the site What’s Your Grief? 'We don’t have a framework for that, and we may feel we have less of a right to have emotions about that.'"

See also: Seven Tips for Thoughtfully Dealing with Grief in the Workplace By Lindsay Tigar | Fast Company (2/5/21)

To Read: On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic

On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic By Jesmyn Ward | Vanity Fair (September 2020)

The acclaimed novelist lost her beloved husband—the father of her children—as COVID-19 swept across the country. She writes through their story, and her grief.

"I cried in wonder each time I saw protest around the world because I recognized the people. I recognized the way they zip their hoodies, the way they raised their fists, the way they walked, the way they shouted. I recognized their action for what it was: witness. Even now, each day, they witness.

They witness injustice.

They witness this America, this country that gaslit us for 400 fucking years.

Witness that my state, Mississippi, waited until 2013 to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Witness that Mississippi didn’t remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag until 2020.

Witness Black people, Indigenous people, so many poor brown people, lying on beds in frigid hospitals, gasping our last breaths with COVID-riddled lungs, rendered flat by undiagnosed underlying conditions, triggered by years of food deserts, stress, and poverty, lives spent snatching sweets so we could eat one delicious morsel, savor some sugar on the tongue, oh Lord, because the flavor of our lives is so often bitter."

To Read: Coronavirus Has Upended Our World, It's OK to Grieve

Coronavirus Has Upended Our World. It's OK To Grieve by Stephanie O'Neill | (Mar 26, 2020)

"The coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe has not only left many anxious about life and death issues, it's also left people struggling with a host of less obvious, existential losses as they heed stay-home warnings and wonder how bad all of this is going to get.

To weather these uncertain times, it's important to acknowledge and grieve lost routine, social connections, family structures and our sense of security — and then create new ways to move forward — says interfaith chaplain and trauma counselor, Terri Daniel."

To Read: This Pandemic of Grief

This Pandemic of Grief by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | The Center for Loss and Life Transition (Apr 15, 2020)

"The coronavirus is not only causing a viral pandemic—it is giving rise to a pandemic of grief. As I write this, in mid-March, we as a global community are suffering so many losses that I hardly know where to begin.

Death and grief go hand-in-hand, of course. Thousands of people have already died of COVID-19 worldwide. Many more are dying right now. These are terrible losses for the loved ones of these precious individuals, and they will need our support and empathy in the months to come.

Yet what strikes me at this moment is that this aggressive new virus is threatening every single person on Earth with myriad losses of every kind. Name something you care about or that gives your life meaning. In all likelihood, this attachment is now negatively affected or threatened in some way by the coronavirus."

To Read: Grappling with a Terrible Milestone

Grappling With a Terrible Milestone: One Hundred Thousand Dead by Meghan O'Rourke | The Atlantic (May 23, 2020)

"As the U.S. death count from COVID-19 approached 100,000, I thought about how different it is to mourn a single death and to mourn a death in the middle of a mass trauma—to mourn amid so much death."

To Read: Funerals and Dying in Absentia

Funerals & Dying in Absentia: Inspiration & Tips During COVID-19 by Sarah Chavez | The Order of the Good Death (Mar 27, 2020)

"How can we honor a life in the absence of funeral? What can we do to show our love when we can’t be there to hold the hand of a dying loved one? How can we cultivate social and emotional connection without the benefit of being physically present?"

To Read: All the Things We Have to Mourn Now

All the Things We Have to Mourn Now by Joe Pinsker | The Atlantic (May 1, 2020)

"Because of the risk of viral transmission, many people are dying apart from their loved ones, and many others are mourning apart from theirs. Meanwhile, those who haven’t lost someone personally are surrounded by daily reminders of death, and are mourning their lost routines, jobs, and plans for the future, all while fearing for their health and that of their friends and family."

To Read: How the COVID-19 Pandemic May Permanently Change Our "Good Death" Narrative

How the COVID-19 Pandemic May Permanently Change Our "Good Death" Narrative by Cody J. Sanders | Religion Dispatches (Apr 2, 2020)

"Periodically, a crisis disrupts the possibility of that Good Death for a whole society. We are now living through―and dying within―such a disruption. The global pandemic of COVID-19 will challenge our potential for a Good Death in ways we haven’t imagined or prepared for."

To Watch: Funerals in the Age of Coronavirus

Funerals in the Age of Coronavirus
(YouTube video) | Ask a Mortician (Mar 26, 2020)

Facts about funerals in the age of Coronavirus with Caitlin Doughty (The Order of the Good Death, Ask a Mortician).

To Read: Talking About Death During COVID-19

Talking About Death During COVID-19 by Louise Hung | The Order of the Good Death (Mar 25, 2020)

"COVID-19 has us all thinking about the same thing: death.

Death in numbers, death in its potential, death as a threat. Death as something that has crept into the back of our minds and has taken up residence.

For many of us, even those who are accustomed to talking about death or consider themselves death positive, the topic of death might suddenly feel taboo. Too real. Too grim.

So to help you navigate death talk in the time of COVID-19, here are a few questions you may be asking yourself and some advice on how to handle them."

To Read: Pandemic Care Guide

Pandemic Care Guide - At Home Guidance for Caring for the Dying, the Deceased, and the Bereaved | Oregon Funeral Resources & Education

  • How to care for the dying, the deceased, and the bereaved during a pandemic
  • Providing emotional support for grief and trauma
  • Advance directives completion now
  • What to do when a funeral isn't possible
  • FAQs about home care and Covid-19

To Read: Condolences in the Time of COVID-19

Condolences in the Time of COVID-19: Guidance for Conveying Your Love and Support by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | The Center for Loss and Life Transition (Apr 29, 2020)

"When someone dies—of COVID-19 or any cause—during this pandemic, their loved ones are being left to grieve in especially harrowing circumstances. They may not have been able to be by the dying person’s side in the hospital or long-term care facility. They may have been prevented from spending time with the body, which we know helps mourners say hello on the path to goodbye. And due to social distancing mandates, they have probably been unable to gather with friends and family to provide each other essential mutual support.

For these and other reasons, it’s a terrible time for loss. It’s a terrible time to be grieving."