With the recent pandemic, grieving from afar has been the only choice for most people. As social distancing is still enforced in many places, funeral homes and cremation services have strict regulations and restrictions on mass gatherings. It is also harder for family members to fly in due to stringent quarantine measures. Sadly, this takes away social support, which is an important element that helps with the grief process.
For many who live overseas or far away from their loved ones, this is also a sad reality. After all, not everyone has the extra funds to suddenly fly away to partake in the funeral rites. If you find yourself in this situation, facing your pain separated from your family can cause additional distress. You may feel guilty and frustrated that you can only send funeral flowers in lieu of your absence. When you cannot attend the funeral and commiserate with the people who share your loss, what can you do to ease the pain? Read on to see how you can manage your grief without drowning in the overwhelming feelings of loss.
Stay Attuned to Your True Feelings
Grief is not just painful, but it can be overwhelming. Deep sadness is often accompanied by many other heavy emotions like anger, denial, fear, hopelessness, and frustration. Remind yourself that it’s okay not to be okay. You can fall apart, and no one will judge you for it. After all, there is no formula for grief. Allow yourself to stay attuned to your feelings. The time alone will allow you to be honest with yourself. Quiet time without distractions from work and other family obligations will help you internalize your thoughts and feelings. And this is crucial as it is the first step for processing your complex emotions.
Acknowledge the Potential Shift in Your Life
Losing someone you feel close to is hard enough when you are physically present. However, grieving from a distance can add feelings of guilt, longing, and emptiness into the mix. Being miles away can certainly make things harder because closure is harder to internalize. It is even more difficult when you cannot reach out to your relatives and friends during this trying period. Now is the time to make a purposeful effort to analyze and evaluate how this loss impacts your life. To do that, go back to your roots and identify what your key role is in the relationship with the person you are mourning for. Figuring out the prospective changes in your life now that this individual is gone will help in the bereavement process. Having this awareness provides a deep sense of security, allowing you to proactively make choices and work towards your healing.
Consider Doing Grief Rituals or Ceremonies at Home
Attending funeral services and memorials are rituals that provide closure as everyone says their final farewell to the deceased. However, when you cannot be there physically, you can consider doing bereavement ceremonies at home. Do what feels right for you. You can try to put a picture frame and light a candle for the deceased. Make memory books with your kids. If you are religious, conduct a prayer service with your priest or pastor. You can also try building memorials online with other relatives and friends. Doing these little things at home can help you manifest and accept the reality that your loved one is gone. In fact, simple rituals are therapeutic, and they can help you let go and move forward.
Leverage Technology to Connect With Others
Grief can make you feel isolated, especially if others around you do not truly understand what it feels like to lose your loved one. With the pandemic, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are magnified. However, you must do everything in your power to struggle and fight against these toxic feelings. Though showing love and care through touch is the ideal setup, you will also feel comforted by leveraging technology. Taking the time to get in touch with others will give you that sense of control. Make a phone call, write an email, set up zoom meetings with your family and friends. Being in the company of others who understand the loss, albeit over the internet, can help alleviate your pain and anguish.
Channel Your Grief Creatively
Studies show that suppressing your grief can harm your health. When you live across the miles, it’s even more important to manage your grief so you won’t feel overwhelmed. You can try writing your thoughts in a journal. You can also engage in activities like painting, pottery, music, and the like. It is vital to create an outlet for your grief, as keeping it bottled inside is toxic for your well-being. And if all else fails, you can seek help from a mental healthcare professional where you live. Getting support when you need it assures that you can stay afloat in these trying times. Using various techniques will help you manage your grief and ascertain you roll with this sad season of life gracefully.