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  • Dr. Nadia Hallak, PsyD

The Loss of a Loved one to Covid-19

Losing a loved one is difficult to cope with. There is grief, bereavement and coping with the fact that you will never see the loved one again. The current worldwide Pandemic of the Coronavirus has caused thousands of unexpected deaths. Therefore, many people across the world will lose a loved one unexpectedly to this virus. Losing a loved one to Covid-19 and during the Pandemic might be different then a normal loss for various reasons.

One reason it might be different then a normal loss is it is unexpected. A loved one could be perfectly healthy one day and randomly get infected with the virus. If a person has underlying medical conditions or is older in age getting infected with the virus could be deadly. The sudden death of a loved one could have a negative impact on individuals. The death is unexpected and not being prepared for the death could mean that it is harder to cope with.

Another major issue that might arise is not being able to be there to say goodbye. If the loved one is infected by Covid-19, exposure to the loved one could be very difficult for fear of catching the virus. Not being able to be with the loved during their last moments could cause a lot of guilt. The person may not feel that they had a sense of closure and did not have the opportunity to say their proper goodbyes.

Coping with loss and grief of a loved one during the Pandemic could be even more difficult. Certain proper rituals such as a funeral may not be possible due to the Covid-19 restrictions. As a result, the person may feel as if they did not get the proper way to grieve over the loss. Other restrictions as a result of Covid-19, such as social distancing and lockdown could have a negative impact on the grieving process. The lack of social interaction and social support during a hard time could cause more depression and cause the process to be longer.

There are several things to do to overcome the grief during the Pandemic. Therapy might be a very essential resource for a grieving client. The client could work through the grieving process with a therapist. In therapy the client can learn various coping methods. Also if the client is traumatized from the death, an EMDR therapist can help desensitize some of the trauma that the client has gone through. The desensitization process makes it easier for the client to deal with the trauma of the death.

-Dr. Nadia Hallak, PsyD

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