Grief, COVID-19, and missing my person – am I normal?

Grief affects so many things and COVID-19 can make them even more challenging. You may find you miss you person even more right now. You might feel relieved that they aren’t here having to deal with the outbreak. You could be angry that they aren’t here to help out. Are you normal if you’re feeling any of these things? What if you’re feeling all three of them at once?

Wishing they were here with you during social distancing is #perfectlynormal in grief.

Parents, partners, siblings, friends – no matter the relationship, current social distancing rules and quarantine situations are making a lot of people miss the one person who would make the situation bearable. Or rather, it’s making us miss them even more, as though that should even be possible, right?

Whoever you’re missing right now, feeling the ache of knowing how they’d be helping you, how you’d be helping each other, wondering how they’d be dealing with the coronavirus issue in general, and just wishing with all your heart that they were here – all of it is entirely normal and makes this whole COVID-19 situation even harder.

If you have to be without your humans, pets can help you feel less alone – so missing a companion animal adds to this as well. We acknowledge that ache too.

At this link you’ll find cheat sheet of tips and resources for looking out for your mental health and well-being during this period of enforced isolation.

Feeling relieved that they don’t have to deal with COVID-19 is #perfectlynormal in grief.

Grief is full of conflicting emotions and the current pandemic brings up even more. Finding some measure of comfort that they aren’t here to have to deal with the anxiety, stress, and risks of coronavirus is completely normal and doesn’t cancel out how much you miss them and wish they were still here.

Part of the beauty of being human is being able to miss someone with your whole heart and wish they were here while also appreciating that not being here now means they don’t have to cope with what the rest of the world is going through. Both things can be true.

Feeling angry that they’re not here to help during the pandemic is #perfectlynormal in grief.

Feeling angry that they’re not here to help during the pandemic is #perfectlynormal in grief. Anger is a response to injustice. And how completely unfair it is to have to deal with everything COVID19-related without your person here to help share responsibilities, help keep each other going, and help shoulder the emotional and psychological burden of being a human in the world right now. Of course you’re angry. The list of possible reasons to be mad at your person is even longer than it already would be were the coronavirus outbreak not happening.

Contrary to pop-psychology and the medical model, anger is healthy, normal, and necessary. Shown respect and given room, anger tells a story of love and connection and longing for what is lost. There is nothing wrong with that.

We’ve been talking about conflicting emotions in grief and this is another example. It is absolutely normal to be utterly sad and miss your person with every cell in your body while also being mad at them for not being here right now. You can even miss them, be mad and them, AND be relieved that they are’t here to have to deal with all of this. It’s a lot to carry at once, but that’s what we do here – we help each other carry what cannot be fixed.

How about you? Who’s missing in your life that would make all this a little easier? Or if not easier, they’d make it…. different? Have you experienced moments of relief that your person doesn’t have to deal with the COVID-19 situation? What have you felt angry about in these recent extra-stressful weeks?
The more we talk about all of this stuff, the more we tell the truth about what grief is really like, the more people realize they’re not alone.

Grief is hard. It impacts every aspect of life, big and small. There are so many things grieving people experience, things they do or don’t do, that they (or the outside world) might think are unusual or weird, but are actually perfectly normal. You aren’t weird. You’re grieving.

The problem is, people often don’t realize they’re normal until they discover they aren’t alone in feeling a certain way or doing a particular thing. And feeling alone makes grief even harder than it already is.

Because it’s such a relief to find out we’re not alone, we’re creating a series of posts acknowledging as many of those things as we can, one #perfectlynormal thing at a time.

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