As a native Nova Scotian, my heart is heavy with sadness at the recent loss of 22 beautiful souls. In different times, pre-covid19, our grief was often mitigated by our grieving rituals. These rituals allow us to walk beside the grieving individual and share in their most intimate moments of pain and sorrow. We share our loss with friends and loved ones through the physical and personal connection of hugs, stories, music, wakes, funerals, and many more long time rituals that help us with the healing process. Now, many of these long held rituals have been ripped from our grasp, leaving us with an additional sense of loss and complicated grief. This has left us with a heightened sense of sadness and uncertainty in a world that already has lost a sense of normalcy.
Death of any kind is a difficult subject to approach and even in pre-covid times many of us may not know how to respond, what to say or do, so our automatic response might be to say, “Let me know if I can do something.” Though it may seem like a good thing to say, most people who are in the midst of grief, are not thinking clearly and probably do not know what they want or need. So instead, just go ahead and do something! Here are some ideas of how you can show your love and concern during this unprecedented time. I hope you find them useful.
- send a card or email offering your condolences and share a personal memory of the deceased person.
- make a memory book of pictures you may have
- send a gift card for food delivery services or restaurants that deliver
- offer your services to help plan a virtual celebration
- let the grieving person know that you are there to listen when they are ready to talk. Just listen and affirm their feelings.
- connect via a video chat and give them virtual hugs
- Ask the person who is grieving to share their memories of their lost loved one. How would they like them to be remembered?
- use your special talents and cook a special meal, write a poem, paint a picture, write a story or song expressing your love and concern and/or memories of their lost loved one.