How You Can Help a Grieving Friend or Relative During the Pandemic

woman comforting a crying friend

That our famous Hollywood A-listers such as Kendall Jenner and beau Devin Booker are wearing masks when walking around New York City these days shows how much the virus has changed everyone. But the truth of the matter is such nationwide awareness came at a steep price: the lives of thousands of Americans. And with these fatalities comes a horde of American families that have to deal with all the loss.

At the last look, over 500,000 Americans perished due to COVID-19 and its complications. To put that number in perspective, we can combine the American fatalities during the Vietnam War and the two World Wars, and the total would come out short. As a whole, these American lives lost are about 20% of the total number of people who perished due to the pandemic globally.

Indeed, any family or friend who has experienced such a devastating loss would suffer emotional anguish of the worst kind and mental health issues. Being able to comfort someone in your inner circle who suffered such a tragic turn of events can sure look daunting.

Fortunately, humans are adept at influencing one another. Using a few tried-and-tested measures should come a long way in easing a special someone’s heartache like a true blue ‘Good Samaritan’ would.

Plan the Funeral

The loss of someone close to your heart constitutes one of the gravest sorrows anyone can go through in a lifetime. Even the deaths of people we know kindle a fire of sorrow deep within. The death of 43-year-old Hollywood A-lister Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther star, to colon cancer is an example.

A helpful way for you to come to someone’s aid during such trying times is to plan a funeral or a memorial. These events bring about closure to the passing of someone close. The problem is these could be easier said than done at a time when the virus is still looming large.

In many states, a funeral is out of the question. As sad as a loss is, we must observe COVID-19 protocols in this regard.

However, before you start the ball rolling, make sure you consult your grieving friend or family if holding a funeral or a memorial is a good idea for them. Then coordinate with them to plan an online memorial or funeral. Make use of your own resources, your people to get the job done.

Be Available

In the wake of a friend losing someone, it’s easy to be business-like: send a condolence card and forget the whole thing. Never do this. Instead, make sure you make someone feel you’re available, just a phone call or chat away.

It feels somewhat awkward, but take note if there was a time your friend will need you most, it’s now. And yes, a simple text showing how much you care for your friend at times like these should be a good start. So you must make your presence felt even when you’re a thousand miles away.

sad man

Ease the Mental Pain

It’s no accident mental health issues have surged during the pandemic. As existential as the threat of the virus is coupled with the economic challenges, everyone is on their toes. But grieving puts the whole thing at a new level.

Help your friend or family grieve. You can do so by passing along useful websites such as What’s Your Grief. Plus, you can suggest coping strategies when dealing with such a loss. A good way to do that is to never make them feel bad if they feel survivor’s guilt.

Moreover, virtual support groups can be a great way to step up. Finding a hobby to pass the time and stay away from negative news can work wonders in promoting mental health while grieving. For instance, a good way to pass the time is working with quilt kits. You can connect with your friend online while doing it together, or better yet, form a quilting club and introduce your friend to everyone.

Help Them Look at the Future

Someone’s passing is a reality we all must face. Thus, you must help your friend’s mindset towards the future. However, please be careful. It’s a sensitive topic that should caution.

The trick is to slowly direct their attention to focus on a positive direction. A great way to do that is to mention a good time you had in the past, hoping you can do it someday in the future. Here’s an example: “I remember that last time we had… it was such fun. I can’t wait till we can do that again with…”

Indeed, there’s a lot of ways you can help, so long as you have the heart. You don’t have to leave them alone and helpless during these uncertain times.

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