” This Too Shall Pass: Mourning Collective Loss in the Time of COVID-19″
Practices to help us come to terms with grief
Writing: Grief Letter or Grief List
Making: Grief Altar or Memorial Corner
Walking: Gratitude Walk
Talking: Tell Stories
Listening: Music That Helps You Feel
Eight Lessons about Grief
Lesson 1: Embrace grief. As much as it pains us, we must move further into grief rather than seeking to avoid it.
Lesson 2: This will get worse before it gets better. As the theologian Walter Brueggemann observes, times of cataclysm entail the need for three “prophetic tasks”: facing reality, embracing grief, and finding hope. Crucially, though, the three belong together. It is only by really grieving for what we have lost that we can begin to hope for the emergence of the new.
Lesson 3: There is more collective grief to come. Long before the virus took hold in China, we were already facing other, deep forms of grief.
Lesson 4: Grief is not an equalizer .We have already seen how Covid-19 has created its own forms of inequality. People who can work from home or have outside space on their doorsteps, who have free high quality healthcare or strong social safety nets available for when they cannot work, are having a very different experience of the pandemic from those who do not.
Lesson 5: We need to grieve together There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but it is worth being aware that our society’s approach to grieving is unusual for being so individualized.
Lesson 6: Learn from how our ancestors grieved Each culture, society and ethnic group has their own rich and deep history of ritual for loss and death.
Lesson 7: Invent new rituals and practices to deal with collective loss While myths cannot be designed from scratch, rituals and other communal grieving practices definitely can – and we have a wealth of examples to draw on.
Lesson 8: Remember that loss is part of the natural cycle.