We are so very sorry you lost someone dear to you. Whether they died of Covid-19 or another way, you will have faced something unimaginable and unprecedented which will have left you feeling devastated and powerless. Without the support of family and friends during lockdown, many will have put their grief on hold and left it there. But it is never too late to start to deal with your grief.
There is plenty of support available and on AtaLoss.org you can find it in your area. There are many people doing the same so please don't delay. People are waiting to help you.

The Nature of Grief

While grief is a universal experience and all of us will experience grief many times over the course of our lives, every grief experience is also unique. We do not grieve in the same way over different losses, and individual survivors grieve the death of one person differently.

There is no “wrong” or “right” way to grieve - your emotions reflect both your special relationship to your loved one and the circumstances of their death.

Traumatic Loss

Be aware that losing a loved one in the midst of the pandemic will have been a traumatic experience. If we lose someone suddenly, or if we were not able to be with them while they were dying, our grief responses are complicated by the traumatic nature of the loss. You may still be experiencing emotional distress along with their other grief emotions, including feelings of emptiness, disbelief, and distrust in other people.

If you are experiencing any of these feelings, know that they are normal responses to the abnormal circumstances of your loss and that, with time and support, they will lessen. However, be aware that you may only now be beginning to grieve for your loved one.

Ambiguous Losses

Grief following a loved one’s death can be complicated during a public health crisis because we all experienced non-death losses at the same time such as financial insecurity, lack of social contact or loss of freedom. This has continued with the current cost of living crisis which is causing hardship for many. You might be feeling that your grief hasn't been recognised and supported because everyone appears to be getting on with life. While you still grieve your loved one, try to recognise and validate the other losses you are experiencing as a way of making sense of how these losses impact one another for you personally.

Risk of Disenfranchised Grief

In addition to other complications to grieving the loss of a loved one during the pandemic, survivors Often experienced what is now recognised as disenfranchised grief. Anyone suffering a loss whose grief is not openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly observed can experience disenfranchised grief, including survivors in a pandemic. When the number of people who die of a single virus is extremely high, one may feel that their loved one’s death did not receive attention or was only being treated as a statistic.

Separated From Your Loved One at the Time of Their Death

There are no words possible to erase the pain you may be still feeling if you were not present with your loved one during their death, but it can be helpful to remember that a life is far more than its endpoint. The life of your loved one was made up of millions of moments, including moments of laughter, happiness, and joy, many of which you shared with them. Remembering these shared moments now might help you remind yourself that you carry your whole relationship with your loved one with you as you move forward with your grief.

You may still feel upset because they died without family and friends at their side. Know, though, that they did not die alone. Their death was witnessed and felt by compassionate nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals who sought to surround them with care and comfort. 

Support Your Health While Grieving

You may still be grieving and feel unable to move forward as a result of the death of your loved one. Check in with yourself and your feelings twice a day - are you experiencing mood changes or losing sleep? Would you say you have processed your grief? Are you struggling to shift heaviness and sadness or anger because of your loss? 1, 2 or 3 years on, this would not be surprising. However, you owe it to your loved one to live the best life you can so consider finding bereavement support that suits you on this website. There are plenty of options available here - from peer support groups to counselling - and you really don't need to sit on a waiting list.

And... 

Reflect on memories with your loved one and the particular gifts they brought to your life. We do not get over grief, we get through it. Our love for those we have lost will not end. After a death, we move forward into a world that has changed personally and permanently, but we do not leave our loved ones behind. We carry them with us, with the knowledge that our bonds cannot be broken, even by death.

Useful helplines and links:

Have a look at this short film AtaLoss has produced to help you find bereavement support on our website. After watching, click on the button above to search the support available across the UK.

 View the film here