Grieve with the Grieving
For many, this All Souls’ Day will be like no other. The long list of names of family and friends who have been taken by the virus will not only serve as reminders of the loss of life, but also the loss of mourning and grieving rituals. The comforting customs that help soothe the sting of dying and death and offer a way through loss and mourning can lose their effectiveness when attempted online, through thick glass, or by phone. Death by COVID-19 has upended our rituals. Many have died alone and many more still grieve in social isolation.
The death of a loved one is sad. The desire to spend every last waking minute with the one who will pass is more than human instinct. When the ties of love and affection that bind people together in life begin to unravel, being present to witness every fading heartbeat, every weakening breath, even the slightest movement and every word whispered is a sacred duty. The sadness of death is compounded when holding the hand of the one you love is not possible. There is no last look, no last embrace, no last kiss, only feelings of powerlessness and isolation.
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