It has been sometime since I wrote a blog. I have been posting the odd recipe but I just can’t seem to get motivated and don’t feel focused. I read an article recently and it blames COVID 19. Might as well…since that is all we are talking about lately. The article suggests that the illusion of control has been taken away with this lockdown. Apparently, we have goals and things we do that help us make sense of whether we are progressing in life or not. They go on to say we never really had any control. The article really talked about “Grief”. We are basically grieving our old understanding of normal. I know I am missing hanging out with our friends, going to restaurants or the ease of going to the grocery store. Going shopping is a whole day event now. Plus, I was suppose to be in Barcelona, Spain this week. Then, on Saturday, we had plans to depart Spain and head out on a 12 day cruise around the Mediterranean hitting, Rome, Pompei, Greece, Sicily and Malta. 😢😢. Yup grieving a little about that… That said, I am glad that I am home safe and sound because last thing I would want is to be trapped in another country trying to get home or worse get COVID in a foreign country. I hope to travel again one day soon.
I had many plans in April & May cancelled. I was suppose to attend and experience my first “Death Cafe”. That was cancelled because a group of people can’t get together these days let alone discuss death because it could be deadly. LOLOL Ok, not funny but kind of…..😂🤣😂 My family wasn’t able to get together for my niece’s beautiful daughter’s christening… Tickets to a play I was taking my mom to for Mother’s day was cancelled. We also had to celebrate my husband and son’s birthday in isolation…simple plans nothing elaborate. My birthday is coming up soon, and my husband suggested we would go for dinner and a movie. I said, “Oh great, dinner over there” and I pointed to the kitchen, “and a movie over here in the family room.” We both laughed hysterically. 🤣😂🤣
Happy to say the Hospice I volunteer at, offered for us to take a virtual version of the “Grief and Bereavement” course which I was scheduled for back mid April. Talk about timely as many are suffering loss during the COVID crisis…..the loss of many things we use to take for granted and some people grieving the death of family members. I also had a virtual class on “Therapeutic Touch” which is similar to Reiki and is all about energy. We were taught how to do Self Healing Therapeutic Touch. This is useful to help centre, clear and ground yourself so you feel more relaxed and peaceful rather than ruffled and unsettled especially during these crazy days.
Some Interesting Facts about Grief & Bereavement
- Grief is a normal reaction to loss
- Everyone grieves differently
- Grief takes as long as it takes
- Grieving makes people uncomfortable
- To do this kind of work, that is, work with those that are grieving, you need to have COMPASSION, EMPATHY and above all be a GOOD LISTENER
- Try to avoid Euphemisms like, passed on, passed over, went to a better place, lost someone especially when dealing with children…if they are told they lost a parent, they will think well we will find them…you need to use words like “died”
- Best thing to ask someone that is grieving is “how are you doing, right now?”
- There are myths about grieving like:
- Intensity -people think it will diminish over time but it can actually increase after the shock is worn off & it can go up & down like a roller coaster
- 1 Year-Many lean towards one year being an acceptable timeframe for grieving, but this doesn’t work for everyone, some grieve several years
- Same-People say they understand how someone feels as they went through the same thing BUT we never really know how someone is feeling even if experiences are similar
- Medication-Doctors prescribe anti-depressants for people going through fairly normal grief and often it isn’t necessary
- Stages of grief-They say there are stages however they are rarely linear…1. Numbness 2. Yearning 3. Disorganization and despair 4. Reorganization
- Map out your own loss history using events such as death of family/friends, death of pets, loss of job, loss of health, financial loss, loss of relationships, change in relationships, career loss and change. Review each loss. Any patterns or unresolved feelings?
Even more interesting, I found out you can be a “Thanadoula”. This is a basically a death midwife or death doula who assists in the dying process, much like a midwife or doula does with the birthing process. Who knew? It is often a community based role & helps families cope with death through recognizing it as a natural & important part of life.
Plus you can become a “Thanatologist”. Thanatology or deathlore is the scientific study of death and losses. It investigates the forensic aspects of death, such as bodily changes that accompany death and the post-mortem period. A modern day “Quincy”. I am probably dating myself but Quincy was a TV show. The main character was Quincy played by Jack Klugman and he was a medical examiner and basically would figure out how someone died. It was a favorite show of mine when I was younger. Not sure what that says about me?! I do have a Science Major and I thought it was awesome how the science Quincy used would prove how someone died… You can actually get a Thanatology certificate which aims to promote awareness and understanding of death and how it affects individuals, whether the death is a result of a chronic illness, acute condition, or a traumatic event.
Jobs like archaeologists, sociologists, clergy members, coroners and medical examiners, grief counselors, funeral directors/embalmers use thanatology.
Anyway, the lady that gave the lecture on Grief and Bereavement is a Death Doula and said we don’t have enough people to support those that grieve and she really stressed how important it was to do this type of work.
Well, I am sure you are dying to get to the end of this post. Pun intended.
During your lockdown, if you have opportunities to take courses and explore different things, go for it. I just love learning new things! I am not sure if or when I will have the opportunity to practice or help others in my hospice that are grieving until this COVID situation changes or we get some direction on how to help. That said, I am always happy to lend an ear to anyone that needs one.
One thing I am sure about is “change is inevitable” So things will change let’s just hope it is for the better. Have a great weekend! Keep exploring!