Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Murrell Counseling Service, LLC

Consulting, Evaluations & Therapy

My Blog

Blog

What Works in Grieving Losses from COVID-19

Posted on January 29, 2021 at 11:05 AM

Many of us will look back at 2020 and the pandemic with relief at having the year over as well as the promise of "normalacy" returning.  We are now aware that with the dissmination of the vaccines we can begin to see  businesses and schools opening, social gatherings flourishing, as well as need physical contact with friends and loved ones.  It's been a tough challenge for everyone around us and especially hard on those who have suffered from severe losses.  That loss may have come in the form of a lost job, a lost business, a lost opportunity to go to college, a cancelled trip abroad, or tragically the loss of a loved one. Certianly the loss of a family memember is often the most devestating of all.  To make matters worse for the grieving family during the pandemic there were restrictions on how many people could gather together to do a celebration of life or a funeral.  This need for social distancing, while necessary, has curtailed or even eliminated a necessary ritual that helps all of us come to terms with the final and eternal loss of a loved one through death. Here are some guidelines developed from my own personal losses,  readings, and observations over the past 34 years of being a therapist that may be helpful to those who are going through grief.

.1. The first stage of grief is shock and denial.  This means that when something happens to a loved one our first reaction is often to say to ourselves or even outloud, "No!".  It is a means of trying to control what we have just heard or witnesses about a terrifble loss.  It is our instinctive reaction to try to stop what has already happened.  It is self-protective and self-defeating because logically we are helpless to control all the events in our lives that we would wish to and especially the loss of a loved one.  The shock often is accompanied by an emotional numbness and allows us to feel almost nothing for a period of time as our emotions go from overload to nothing  It is analygous to tripping a circuit breaker and having the electiricity cut off for that line so that nothing is registered.

2. The second stage we wil go through often is anger and guilt.  These two emotions may bounce us back and force between feeling aggressive to the pont of waning to lash out at someone or something alternating with a deep sense that we should have done something, anything to change the course of events to have saved this person's life.

3. The third stage of grief may then be "bartering with God" or attempting to "make a deal with God".  Often I have heard from clients that I have seen that they want to ask God for a favor such as "save my loved one and I will be in church every Sunday" or "cure me of this fatal illness and I will help the poor every day of my life".  These acts of contrition may in fact actually lead to the restoration of health and then the good works that were promised.  Regardless of the outcome they represent a normal and deperate attempt to control an outcome that is cliearly out of our control.

4. The fourth stage is often depresson.  This stage is where the actually deep emotional coming to terms with the loss occurrs.   The feelings of depression and sorrow often comes in waves.  I remember that when my father died in 2003 that I experienced what I would call "waves of sorrow" that seemed to wash over me and leave me sobbing in tears.  It was not unlike similar experiences I have had while surfing in deep water except this time instead of being exhilirated by the pleasure of being lifted by the waves and then dropped it was the very unpleasant feeling of sorrow literally washing over me then pounding me down deeper into depression. There is often a loss of energy to the point where the grieving person has no interest in going to work, enjoying hobbies, taking care of their personal hygiene or even getting out of bed.  Other symptoms can include overearing or loss of appetite, obsessive thinking about what could have been said or done differently in their relationship (inappropriate guilt), social isolation, extreme need for companionship, problems with concentration, indecison, loss of self confidence brought about by severe negative self-talk and sometimes suicidal ideation.  The degree of depression can range from minor symptoms such as only minor insomnia to suicidal thoughts with a plan to kill oneself.  Obviously these symptoms need to be discussed with one's primary care physician, other family members and friends and probabliy a clergy member who has training in grief counseling.  Behavior health professionals who have graining in treating grief, bereavement and depression can be very useful as well.

5. Eventuall the individual reaches the stabe of acceptance of the loss.  As the old saying goes, "When one door closes soon another door opens" and this is certainly true in greiving a loss.  It will not happen as soon as one would want (it never is) but if the indivdiual keeps talking about their feelings the day will come where the pain is lessened and enthusiasm for live blooms once again.  It is always a good thing to weep when it feels overwhelming because this is a natural release of tensoin that moves one closer and closer to acceptance and peace.  The Bible verse from Corinthians 4: 17-18 states, "And this too shall pass." is a comfort for believers because it brings to mind all the previous losses that have been successfully navigated in the past that have eventually led back to normalacy. 

6.There are a number of things that can be done to hasten or at least facilitate the moverment through the grieving process.  One of the most important is to be open and talk about the loss that one has suffered.  Many churches have "Grief Groups" with lay leaders who are skilled faciltators who can guide the participants through the stages of grief.  It is important to know that it is possible to "get stuck" in the grieving process when an individual does NOT talk about their emotions.  I can remember one of the first clients I saw some 33 years ago came to my office and was always irritable and in a bad mood.  The client worked to repossess automobiles from individuals who had stopped paying for their cars.  The client was gruff and aggressive which seemed to be an asset for the type of work they had chosen.  I confronted them on their third visit to my office by sayng, "When you come in here to see me I am a little bit intimidated by your anger and irriaitibility."   What they said in response to me was shocking.  The client replied, "I am not angry really I am just so sad that my husband divorced me after 30 years without even explaining why he was leaving".  That was an eye opener.  The client was stuffing her sadness and hurt so much that it came out as anger in her behavior.  This was something that once she started talking about it she was able to work it through to final acceptance, but only because she finally chose to talk about her emotions.

7. Along with talking about feelings it is important to examine one's own feeling about death.  Part of the reason  for avoiding the pain of grieving having a family member die is that we generally don't want to face the fact that we will have to face our own death one day.   There are numerous books, both religious and secular about death and how best to face that reality.  One book that I found to be helpful to my clients and also to myself was entitled,"7 Lessons From Heaven" by Mary Neal M.D.  This book details her near death experience of being trapped under water in a kayak for 30 minutes and emerging alive.  How this seemingly impossible event occurred is fascinating stuff and riviting reading.

8. It is important to remember to take good care of one's sefl when grieving because the act of greiving is itself very stresful.  For this reason it is important to find comfort in the company of old friends, familar hobbies, comfort food, regular exercise to loosen the tension in the body that accompanies emotional pain, and to have specific goals to accomplish each day (even if that goal is only to write three pages in your journal or talk for 30 minutes to a friend or pastor about the feelings that are coming up).

9. While grieving it is important to suspend making any big decisions until the work of grief is over.  This is not a great time to change careers, life partners, or move to a new state.  It is a time to slow down and to take stock of life.  As one sees the door closing to a loving relationship it is important to see how another door opens and new possibliites as well as insights become availble.  The net results can be a new set of insights and awarenesses.  The French have a term for this new apprecaiton of life and they say "La Joie De Vivre" has ben found.  Translated roughly it means "The Joy of Life" has returned.

Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

1591 Comments

Reply pg 1
1:15 PM on January 29, 2021 
I simply wanted to construct a quick note in order to say thanks to you for those precious information you are showing on this website. My rather long internet search has at the end been honored with pleasant information to go over with my classmates and friends. I would admit that we visitors actually are rather fortunate to live in a wonderful website with many lovely professionals with very beneficial basics. I feel very blessed to have discovered your entire webpages and look forward to many more amazing times reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.
pg 1 http://www.paulgeorgeshoes.us.com
Reply cheap jordans
1:15 PM on January 29, 2021 
I am also commenting to let you be aware of what a magnificent experience my girl enjoyed reading yuor web blog. She came to understand several things, with the inclusion of what it's like to possess an incredible teaching style to make most people just learn various very confusing topics. You really exceeded our expectations. I appreciate you for showing these warm and friendly, healthy, informative and cool guidance on that topic to Gloria.
cheap jordans http://www.retro-jordans.us.com
Reply bape
1:17 PM on January 29, 2021 
I wanted to construct a simple word to be able to thank you for some of the wonderful points you are writing at this site. My considerable internet lookup has now been compensated with excellent suggestions to talk about with my company. I would repeat that many of us visitors are very much blessed to live in a notable place with so many perfect people with very helpful advice. I feel very grateful to have discovered your entire web site and look forward to really more pleasurable times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.
bape http://www.bapehoodie.us
Reply jordan retro
1:17 PM on January 29, 2021 
My wife and i were so cheerful when Chris could conclude his research with the precious recommendations he obtained while using the web site. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be giving out guidance that many the rest might have been selling. And we grasp we need the website owner to be grateful to for this. The illustrations you have made, the simple site navigation, the relationships you will make it easier to foster - it is many impressive, and it is facilitating our son in addition to our family recognize that this topic is enjoyable, which is certainly rather mandatory. Thank you for the whole lot!
jordan retro http://www.jordan-retro.us.com
Reply curry shoes
1:18 PM on January 29, 2021 
Thank you so much for giving everyone an extraordinarily wonderful chance to read articles and blog posts from this site. It is often very amazing and also full of a great time for me and my office acquaintances to search your blog the equivalent of three times in one week to see the fresh stuff you have got. Not to mention, we're actually fulfilled with the splendid creative concepts you give. Selected 1 ideas on this page are without a doubt the best we have had.
curry shoes http://www.curry6shoes.us
Reply yeezy boost 350
1:18 PM on January 29, 2021 
I happen to be writing to make you understand of the remarkable experience my cousin's child gained using your web page. She realized too many details, with the inclusion of how it is like to have a wonderful giving heart to get many others without problems grasp specific advanced topics. You really did more than visitors' expected results. Thank you for churning out the interesting, trusted, informative and in addition fun guidance on your topic to Jane.
yeezy boost 350 http://www.yeezy-boost.us.com
Reply kd 12
1:18 PM on January 29, 2021 
I intended to send you that very small observation to help give thanks once again relating to the remarkable strategies you've shown here. It's unbelievably generous with people like you giving unhampered precisely what a few individuals would've marketed for an e book to earn some dough on their own, chiefly given that you could have tried it in the event you wanted. These tactics additionally served as the easy way to comprehend most people have the identical passion like my own to see very much more in regard to this problem. I'm sure there are several more pleasurable sessions up front for folks who looked over your blog.
kd 12 http://www.kd12.us.com
Reply goyard
1:18 PM on January 29, 2021 
I truly wanted to post a word to be able to appreciate you for those amazing strategies you are sharing at this website. My considerable internet lookup has finally been honored with reasonable tips to share with my contacts. I 'd point out that we site visitors are undoubtedly fortunate to exist in a perfect community with so many special people with interesting pointers. I feel somewhat fortunate to have discovered the web page and look forward to some more exciting minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.
goyard http://www.goyardhandbag.us
Reply jordans shoes
1:19 PM on January 29, 2021 
I wanted to post you a tiny word in order to give many thanks the moment again with your lovely information you've provided on this website. This is quite incredibly open-handed with people like you to deliver freely precisely what a few individuals would've offered for an e-book to generate some profit for their own end, primarily considering that you could possibly have tried it in the event you decided. Those solutions likewise acted to be a great way to fully grasp the rest have the identical passion much like my personal own to figure out great deal more in regard to this condition. I think there are a lot more pleasurable times ahead for many who scan your blog.
jordans shoes http://www.jordansshoes.us.org
Reply yeezy
1:19 PM on January 29, 2021 
I actually wanted to jot down a quick note in order to express gratitude to you for some of the pleasant items you are showing at this website. My rather long internet search has at the end been recognized with pleasant content to talk about with my company. I would tell you that many of us visitors are quite fortunate to exist in a fabulous network with so many outstanding professionals with interesting concepts. I feel pretty lucky to have encountered the web page and look forward to tons of more brilliant times reading here. Thanks again for all the details.
yeezy http://www.yeezy-shoes.us.org
Reply birkin bag
1:20 PM on January 29, 2021 
Thank you so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily marvellous possiblity to read critical reviews from this blog. It is often so amazing and as well , jam-packed with fun for me and my office peers to search your web site not less than three times in a week to see the newest secrets you have got. Of course, I'm so actually impressed with all the sensational creative concepts served by you. Selected 1 points in this posting are basically the simplest I have ever had.
birkin bag http://www.birkinbag.us.com
Reply kyrie irving shoes
1:21 PM on January 29, 2021 
I definitely wanted to develop a quick remark so as to say thanks to you for all of the unique suggestions you are giving out on this website. My considerable internet research has finally been rewarded with incredibly good concept to talk about with my good friends. I 'd mention that many of us website visitors are undeniably blessed to dwell in a fine site with many wonderful individuals with very beneficial methods. I feel quite happy to have seen your entire weblog and look forward to many more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.
kyrie irving shoes http://www.kyrieirvingshoes.us.com
Reply russell westbrook shoes
1:21 PM on January 29, 2021 
I together with my friends were reviewing the excellent strategies on your web blog and so suddenly I got a terrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the web site owner for those secrets. Most of the people happened to be happy to read through them and already have without a doubt been loving them. Thank you for indeed being well considerate as well as for choosing this kind of nice resources most people are really wanting to discover. My sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.
russell westbrook shoes http://www.russellwestbrookshoes.us
Reply Bad Credit
1:26 PM on January 29, 2021 
calculating interest on a loan loan process instant payday easy payday loan denver payday loans
Reply CarlVen
1:27 PM on January 29, 2021 
canadian pharmacy 24 bactrim cream canada cialis paypal sildenafil online pharmacy uk female viagra sildenafil
Reply Loans Online
1:30 PM on January 29, 2021 
loan brokers cash advance texas 1000 loans loan value poor credit loans
Reply stone island
1:32 PM on January 29, 2021 
I am glad for writing to make you know what a superb discovery our girl went through checking your blog. She picked up a good number of things, which include how it is like to have an amazing teaching spirit to get certain people just completely grasp selected problematic topics. You undoubtedly did more than people's expectations. I appreciate you for presenting these helpful, dependable, revealing not to mention unique tips about that topic to Janet.
stone island http://www.stone-island.us.com
Reply kyrie 6 shoes
1:33 PM on January 29, 2021 
I simply wanted to send a simple comment in order to thank you for all the stunning suggestions you are sharing at this site. My time consuming internet search has at the end been rewarded with useful concept to go over with my good friends. I would repeat that many of us site visitors actually are undoubtedly fortunate to live in a decent site with very many brilliant people with very beneficial things. I feel rather lucky to have encountered your entire web pages and look forward to many more exciting times reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.
kyrie 6 shoes http://www.kyrie-6.com
Reply EyeVen
1:33 PM on January 29, 2021 
cymbalta 60 mg order tetracycline zovirax 400 generic diflucan otc cost avodart trazodone 150 celebrex capsule 100mg price daily cialis generic viagra brand generic buy glucophage 500mg online
Reply steph curry shoes
1:33 PM on January 29, 2021 
I precisely wished to appreciate you once more. I'm not certain what I might have achieved without the pointers shown by you directly on my area of interest. This has been an absolute hard concern in my view, however , finding out a new expert way you processed that made me to leap over contentment. I will be thankful for the information and then trust you find out what a great job that you are undertaking instructing men and women thru your webpage. Most likely you've never met all of us.
steph curry shoes http://www.curryshoes.net