How do we grieve when our ways of grieving have been disrupted? Our funerals, Celebrations of Life, and Gatherings are gone for now. They have all been put on hold. We adapt by doing video conferencing, but there is something healing about being in the same room with people who love your person. There is an energy in togetherness that is powerful. The love in the room is felt.

And so, we wait for a time when we can gather, and in the waiting, we put our grief on hold.

Our places where we grieve, our mom’s house, our brother’s back yard, or our dad’s home are physical spaces that are no longer available now. We have to stay away from the areas that your person occupied. Our remembering is not as tangible now.

The other side is that we are immersed in the spaces our person occupied, and it might become overwhelming. There is no way to distract because we can’t go out and about like we used to. Our grief can become all-encompassing.

Even sitting with a friend and having a cup of tea or coffee, or dare I say a beer. It is in these social encounters that we allow ourselves to grieve.

Then, of course, there are the heartfelt hugs, the holding of hands and seeing someone leaning forward to be closer – to listen, just to listen. These moments are not available right now.

We grieve as a community. We grieve with people crying together, laughing together, being silent and still together.

COVID-19 has interrupted our healing. It has taken away the ways we grieve. This is not a good thing.

My plea to you is, do not put your grief on hold. Find small ways to acknowledge your loss. Perhaps it is a phone call or a Zoom call. Stay connected to your community in some way.

Perhaps you can create a small ritual. Set aside a window of time each day to simply remember. Somehow, in whatever way works for you to find a way to honour your grief. Do not put your grief on hold. Honour your person, honour yourself, honour this important and challenging time in your life.