Grief and COVID-19
Cheryl Watson, MSW, M.Div., LMSW
We have all experienced loss in some form or another because of COVID-19. Loss triggers the grief process, known as the five stages of grief. Understanding and recognizing this process is crucial in knowing what to do when experiencing paralyzing anxiety, irritability or depression. According to helpguide.org, the five stages of grief are:
Denial – “This can’t be happening to me!”
Anger – “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Bargaining – “Make this not happen, and in return, I will ____.”
Depression – “I’m too sad to do anything.”
Acceptance – “I’m at peace with what happened.”
It is important to remember grief is a normal reaction to loss. It does not mean that you are weak or something is wrong with you. Your grief responses simply mean that you are a human being. It is also good to know that everybody experiences loss in their own way. Just because there are stages listed does not mean that you must feel all those feelings. The stages merely help you recognize what you are feeling is part of the grief process.
There are also physical symptoms many people experience when grieving. These include:
Getting “sick” more often.
Weight loss or weight gain.
Aches and pains.
We are not meant to be alone. We are not meant to experience life all by ourselves. Reach out to your friends and family who you know care about you. Your loved ones cannot help you if you don’t tell them how you are feeling. Talk to your spiritual leader, visit your health care provider or meet with a counselor. Finally, know the signs and symptoms of grief and loss and take action to take good care of yourself! You are worth it.
To learn more about grief and how to deal with it, visit helpguide.org or reach out to your health care provider.
Cheryl Watson, MSW, M.Div., LMSW, is a behavioral health consultant serving patients at HopeHealth in Timmonsville. She also is an ordained minister. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts in psychology, Watson holds a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University in addition to a Master of Divinity from Campbell University.