In the Meantime…

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BY: JoDee Coulter, MT-BC, CT

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss
PUBLICATION: About Grief

 

​Since the beginning of social distancing and stay-at-home orders - two concepts we never imagined being part of our daily vocabulary - life has changed dramatically for all. But for those who are grieving, the changes have been overwhelming. If you experienced a death before the coronavirus pandemic, you are now facing the challenge of not having access to the supports that were once available to you. If you have lost a loved one in the midst of this pandemic, you are missing the rituals and activities that might have kept you grounded and supported in such a difficult time. Not being able to hold a funeral or celebration of life for your loved one causes feelings of anxiety, frustration, sadness and isolation in a world of unfinished business.

Because there is no definitive end date to grief, the landscapes of our lives are forever altered no matter the circumstances.  When we’re not able to begin the grief process as our customs and beliefs have taught us, how do we honor loved ones in the meantime?
*Plan a virtual memorial with those closest to you. You can do this via Zoom or other social media platforms.
*Create a memorial garden where you can sit and fondly remember.
*Write daily to your loved one in a journal.
*Create a legacy book with stories of your time together.
*Light a candle while listening to your favorite music and take time to remember.
*Look through photos and create a book or board that you can use in the future at a celebration of life.
 *Reach out to others who knew your loved one and request that they send stories and pictures of how your loved one impacted their life. These are the stories you might have missed even if you were able to have a funeral or memorial service. This is a perfect way for you to feel connected with others who are also missing your special person.

These suggestions cannot replace a hug, the shake of a hand or warm presence, but they may bring you some peace and comfort until we can be together again in our usual ways. 

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