Grieving people are “looking forward” to different things once the pandemic eases

As it begins to seem like maybe, possibly the world is going to start to reopen and life will begin to move forward again this summer, lots of people are talking about what they’re looking forward to. This is a complicated topic for grieving folks, many of whom are meeting this big news with all sorts of mixed emotions – and that’s #perfectlynormal. ⁣⁣

While people are talking about all the stuff they’re looking forward to doing again, in the US alone there are over 500,000 families who are “looking forward” to an altogether different set of things, and it’s not the parties you might think.⁣

Last week we posted on our IG @refugeingrief asking people to share grief-related things they’re looking forward to – not in a bubbly, excited sense, but things that are important to you that haven’t been possible yet because of the pandemic. There are all sorts of things that will mean a great deal to grieving hearts to finally be able to do once this pandemic pause comes to an end. ⁣

Here are the responses we received:

“Getting my husband’s headstone made”
“Having some cries with my friends in person.”

“Traveling to spread my dad’s ashes in one of his favorite places”
“Seeing my therapist in person again.”

“Getting a tattoo for my person”
“Hug the people who have supported me”

“In person grief conversations.”
“Not constantly fearing losing loved ones without the option of a funeral.”

“Moving away. My husband and I figured out right before lockdown that we want to start over somewhere new. Those plans have been on hold for over a year now, and I feel like we’ve been so trapped in the city/home where all of our dreams were shattered. Starting the process of finding our new home city is something we are holding onto to keep us moving through this lockdown.”

“Going through photo albums. Visiting home and seeing my family. Going through his things. Seeing his grave. Unpacking the suitcase from the hospital that my mom hasn’t been able to bare looking at.”
“I’m looking forward to sleeping better and feeling less panicked about losing another family member once we are all safely vaccinated.”

“I am looking forward to seeing her things. Being able to collect her effects. Holding them close. Feeling them again.”
“I’m planning my mom’s memorial, a year after she died.”

“I look forward to be able to join some grief groups with other parents who lost children (our daughter was stillborn at full term in late July). I wish we could have gathered with these groups, done a grief retreat, in person counseling, etc. it wasn’t the same finding support in grief during this.”

How about you? What are some grief-related things you’re looking forward to being able to do once pandemic restrictions are lifted and it’s safe to do so? Want to share with your friends and family? Use this list we made to share on your social media channels:


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