Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.
When people think of grieving, they often picture someone who has lost a loved one. Mourning someone who has died is certainly one type of grieving. Also, if someone has a family member or close friend who has died during the various stages of lockdown over the past year, grieving is made even more complicated. But there are other forms of grieving as well, in response to the many types of loss we’ve experienced during the pandemic.
In an article on the American Psychological Association website, author Kirsten Weir quotes psychologist Sherry Cormier, PhD, as noting that “It’s important that we start recognizing that we’re in the middle of this collective grief. We are all losing something now.”
Weir quotes Robert Neimeyer, PhD, director of the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition, in making the point in a different way: “We’re capable of losing places, projects, possessions, professions and protections, all of which we may be powerfully attached to. This pandemic forces us to confront the frailty of such attachments, whether it’s to our local bookstore or the routines that sustain us through our days.”
These insights about grief have been widely recognized. Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro, writing for HuffPost.com, quotes Marianne Trent, author of The Grief Collective: Stories of Life, Loss & Learning to Heal, who emphasizes that “There’s no such thing as a grief hierarchy, grief is grief.”
Fortunately, there are well-researched ways to move through grief and heal. These include:
- Joining a support group (many online support groups have formed, and in-person groups are meeting once again with fully vaccinated people)
- Practicing any form of art from painting to dancing to writing poetry
- Creating memorials in honor of a loved one
- Working with a therapist