Managing Grief after Lockdown Loss

The Corona Virus pandemic has resulted in the death of over 40,000 people in UK alone. Feelings of loss and grief are inevitable following the death of a loved one. Loss during a pandemic, or when there are other unpredictable circumstances,  these feelings, along with other emotions, may be amplified. If you have lost someone you may feel you want to understand the best way to grieve but there actually isn’t a correct way for managing grief.

Lockdown loss can make the grief process even more complex.

Dealing with loss at a time where more things are out of control enhances strong emotions. When there may not have been an opportunity to say goodbye, less possibility for support from others or funerals can’t be held they way you expect are three examples of situations that add additional layers. There may be feelings of anger, resentment, blame, trauma, fear and anxiety, amongst others.

Grief can feel exceptionally overwhelming and uncomfortable whenever it occurs. At times, it may feel that the sadness will never end. Each and everyone’s journey of grief is uniquely different and learning the ways to best support yourself helps. Start by beginning to accept whatever feelings you have at any given point. This can be hugely beneficial in managing grief.

Grief can occur from many types of loss not only death. Working at Sue Ryder Manorlands hospice, I see many patients, and their carers, who are struggling with grief. Patients often have grief through loss of job, identity, worth or purpose. Relations can also feel the loss even before their relative has died. Loss of intimacy, future plans and change in relationship dynamics are all contributing factors. I support all grieving clients in a way that is right way for them, to enable them to come to terms with their personal losses and current emotional situations are.

Overwhelming grief is all encompassing and filters into every single strand of your life.

Every element of your being can become encapsulated in the thoughts and emotions of the state. Over time your loss will become easier. Over time you will gradually expand outside of the state as this diagram of grief shows There will be moments of hope, glimmers of positive moments. Essentially for most, it is as if the loss never disappears completely but you learn to live beyond it.

Jacki came to me desperate, having lost her husband and if it hadn’t been for her dogs she wouldn’t have got out of bed each day. She left this comment on Google which demonstrates the progress of her personal situation well:

“Amy Brown saved my life. Sounds melodramatic I know but to me it is the truth. When my husband died cruelly from cancer my life was devastated and I had no wish to carry on living it. I went to Amy desolate, depressed and without hope or purpose. Through her empathy, professionalism and expert hypnotherapy skills she has enabled me to accept my loss and treasure the relationship I had and still have with my husband. She has led me into an understanding of how to positively approach my new situation and has taught me how to govern any negative feelings and reactions, thus giving me back control of my life. I will be forever incredibly grateful to Amy Brown.” Jacki Scholefield

It is important to know that all of your feelings are valid.

Managing grief
Photo: Amy Brown,
Emotional states throughout grief

The journey of grief has several stages:

  1. Denial – A state of shock, believing, for example, that a diagnosis is wrong or all will be ok.
  2. Anger – Feeling a sense of unfairness, maybe angry at yourself or at others including medics or your partner.
  3. Bargaining – Behaving in a way to do your best to make it work, make it better.
  4. Despair – Feeling grief, sadness and hopelessness; like there is no point.
  5. Acceptance – Taking back control over your life. Exploring new options for the future

Treat yourself as you would your best friend.

Know that there is no right way to travel through your journey of grief but be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Sometimes, while managing grief, it can feel like it is right to crack on with life to escape the feelings however this can be a mistake. Elephants, geese, chimps and otters are all species that grieve and as humans we are another where this process is an important way for us to deal part of loss. By pushing the process away we disrupt out ability to move on more gently. Learning to accept what feelings you have at any given time can be hugely beneficial to you. Sometimes this is by learning to notice what is present – maybe an emotion felt as a bodily sensation and noticing where and how this is. Taking time daily to connect with what those sensations might be representing can help. Even giving those feelings a name so you can acknowledge there existence more readily is a simple tip.

Get in touch with me if you would like professional support in managing grief. Hypnotherapy is a wonderfully relaxing way to benefit you while working on gentle change. Sessions held online via video call  or in-person in North Yorkshire. All therapy is personally tailored to you using a wide variety of  techniques.