Ep: 10 Losing A Loved One To COVID Is A Different Loss
Ep 10: Transcript
Jennifer Gunson 0:02
Welcome to another episode of Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose. Today we’re talking about losing a loved one to COVID. It’s a different type of loss. When someone we know and love who has to die alone without family or friends by their side, suffering through what they never thought they would, and often said when it happened to them, Well, it sucks. And here are some tips on how to understand and how to help people who are grieving. Let’s get started.
What Are Some Losses In Life?
Hi, welcome back to another episode of Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose, where our focus is solutions to life’s little problems. Well, you know, something, it’s been a really rough couple of years. And yes, I’m going back to talk about the Coronavirus because stuff has happened and I need to share it. I want to share it. I choose to share it. You don’t think you’re going to be victimized. It’s kind of like when you hear somebody had a horrible accident, and you think, Oh, thank God, that wasn’t me. But you just don’t see it possible that it could be you. Over the last year we’ve lost a few people in our family. But we – and even though it’s COVID time, to COVID, we lost them due to age issues or illness issues or… but it wasn’t Corona related. But now, it is. We lost a friend. And our friend was unvaccinated. Who… somebody who really loved the natural remedies, who did a lot of work in organizations that worked with various different natural home-based remedies for any kind of ailment. And it didn’t work. She died. She’s gone. Now, you know when you lose someone to COVID – and this is something that I never realized until I all of a sudden got it when it’s just this close to home -is she left a whole family behind! She’s got grandchildren that are still little. She’s got daughters and sons. She’s got a husband, a business, a life, friends, a community! And what’s happening is these people that are dying, whether they’re vaccinated or not is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. COVID-19 forces us to adapt the ways we can support someone in mourning. Because when someone’s in mourning over a COVID issue, there’s not a whole lot you can do. Because a lot of times, first of all, COVID is a bit of a waiting game. You don’t know how sick somebody is going to get. A whole household could be infected by the Coronavirus. And one person could die from it – the rest of the household doesn’t. And so something that could come up in the family that they would have to deal with is guilt. How come I didn’t die? How come she or he died? That just doesn’t seem fair. But working from home in a lot of cases for a lot of us, we tend to think that we’re not going to be touched by this disease. And when I look around my family, I do have family – my husband side of the family – that are not vaccinated that are at higher risk. Certainly I’m at risk and my husband too, even though we’re vaccinated, you can still get the virus. But it’s the way that the virus is complicating everything. A lot of times people are dying without anybody there.
How Do You Mourn A Lost?
So that means that we’re mourning our losses in different places. We can’t get, I mean I know, I know this family – I can’t go over and assist them. Because the social distancing, it’s makes it more difficult. These people, some of them are dying alone, they don’t have anybody by their side. So there’s a whole lot of things that have to be dealt with at once. Not only that, but it’s also disrupting the way we mourn. So the rituals that we’re accustomed to having – a funeral, having a memorial, having some type of service somewhere. I mean, gatherings are being limited – people aren’t allowed to get together. So grieving – which is already a really lonely thing anyways, because we all grieve differently – it’s really affecting an awful lot of people as they grieve in isolation. Which just doesn’t seem right! It just doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t feel right. So it’s even become more solitary. So the pandemic is forcing a grieving person to deal with every single thing that is already hard to deal with. And it means, like I said, people dying without loved ones by their side, just all the different things. Anxiety is a good symptom of guilt. Anxiety is something that can come up, guilt and stress around the Coronavirus. But survivor guilt is one of the biggest things I think for people that were, you know, that they got sick, and they got sick and somebody else got sick in the household as well. And one of them died and the rest of them didn’t – they just, they just, they recovered.
Ways To Stay Connected With Family And Friends Around the World
So what you can do, what can you do? Well, you can have FaceTime and video chats with your family and with your friends. That’s still available to us. And of course Zoom has been expanding like crazy because everybody’s been zooming. A memorial could even be shared on video or Zoom or FaceTime, and people can get together. And they can. They can help one another get through this really difficult time – share happy memories, tell stories about their friend or their loved one, and allow them to become real again and take away the sting of this. All this stuff that has to happen all at the same time. You can email or you can phone, you can still connect with them. You want to know, sometimes when somebody dies, and you want to you want to reach out, sometimes what you want to know is how can you help. What it does is it puts a demand on the person that’s grieving, it’s not always of assistance. So instead, just sending a card and say I’m thinking of you and offer to call or talk to them whenever they’re ready and feel like they want to talk with somebody. That you’re available. That you’re there. And just send them a card saying I’m thinking of you, I love you. And I’m here when you’re ready to talk. And another thing you can do when somebody loses someone to COVID is don’t disappear, don’t run away. It’s easy to send a note and not stay in touch. But avoid doing that. It can feel really awkward, but it doesn’t have to. What you say depends on how close you are to the person during this time and during any time. But if you talked with them every day before this person died, just continue to do that and follow their lead. A lot of people when they lose someone, they’re really they are going to be having an expectation of how they want this to go look like going forward. Mental health support if you can provide that, if you’re qualified to do that, do that if you can. Grief is complicated. We all process loss differently. When my dad died, I actively grieved I mean, I actively grieved to the point – and this was just a year ago. Again, it wasn’t COVID related, but loss is loss. Grief is grief. And when he passed I, I grieved actively I was in the kitchen, I was cooking. I needed to be around when he was around because he was a chef. And it really, really helped me. And then when my father in law got ill and I started cooking for him on a regular basis, I was able to alleviate some of that grief by sharing good foods with him and, and until he actually passed this year.
How Do You Deal With Family Loss?
So loss in our family has been big, no COVID losses, but my heart goes out so much to the people who are struggling with COVID losses. My father was in care and my father in law was in hospice when he passed. So the family was able to spend time with him. He wasn’t alone. My husband was with him when he passed. And so it’s different than when somebody has Coronavirus and they’re in hospital and they’re going to pass and you can’t be there; you can’t be in the room. You can’t, you can’t physically be with that family member who’s dying. That has got to be just a terrible, terrible feeling. So what you can also do is you’re going to get past this crisis, and you’re going to understand they’re going to get past this crisis too. Even though it seems impossible to predict the timeline. And it is impossible to predict the timeline, you know, because it depends how your grieving process goes. And you don’t want to lighten up on somebody’s sadness. You don’t want to take their sadness and make light of it, you want it to be very real. But you can redirect them if you want. Now, that’s a big part of the work that I do is helping people recover from loss. Because I’m a medium and so people will come to me and they will talk to me about someone who’s lost. And if I can find them – which I do often – we can have a conversation and it helps them recover from loss. But a lot of the things that I’m sharing with you are things I share with them. One of the most important things that I think about is get together with friends and family when you can get the chance to, after the fact, or even with just you and your kids or if it’s a small group that’s going to get together. Everybody bring pictures of the person that passed and then sit and tell stories. Tell stories of how they passed and, and what happened. And tell stories about – to one another – about the things that are in those pictures. The things you did together and the trouble you got into together and the fun that you had, and the smiles that you had – the things that you just really loved.
Why You Should Never Judge People?
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, we can sit around all we want, and we can we can judge. We can judge all those people who aren’t getting vaccinated. This lady wasn’t vaccinated. As I mentioned earlier, she was very into natural care and good health care. I think she had the idea in her head that if she if she got sick or anybody in her family got sick, they could just nurse themselves back to health. So the whole family hasn’t been vaccinated because when you’re doing good self care, you shouldn’t need to be vaccinated, right? Well, it didn’t work. It didn’t work. And it’s really easy for us to sit back and judge and point a finger and say, well, it’s your own damn fault. You didn’t get vaccinated. No! That’s wrong. You cannot talk to people that way. You can’t feel that way about them. My heart reaches out to anyone who has people in their family who are I’m not vaccinated. And because we are also at risk my self, are at risk with losing family members who have chosen not to vaccinate. I don’t want to lose somebody like that I don’t want to lose somebody that I mean, it was hard enough losing my father, and losing my father in law, when we were able to be actively involved with their life process and their leaving process. I don’t want to lose somebody where I know they’re by themselves. And they’re in a hospital room, and they’re so sick, they’re dying, and they were healthy a week ago. I don’t want to do that. I don’t have to deal with those kinds of emotions. And I don’t want my family to either. So if I go out, and I intend to encourage people to get vaccinated, I’m thinking about the rest of the family. And I’m thinking about all the people that are going to be impacted, should they contract Coronavirus? That’s not what this is about. What this is about is how can anybody, how can you support those, you know, in my situation, where I’ve got a friend who died, she’s dead, she’s gone? How can I support her family? How can I help her husband? How can I help her kids? What can I do? Where’s the boundary?
How Does The Body Process Grief?
So because a lot of people will also, when this kind of situation happens, they will literally dwell on the person that died, dwelling on the fact that they died alone, and dwelling on the fact that that has to be awful, and how hard it is on the rest of the family. That’s really tough. And you don’t, you don’t just stop thinking about that. It comes with the grieving process. And it can also be guilt. Guilt can also be just so detrimental. Panic of course. Panic and anxiety. If anything, the pandemic has brought up more anxiety in people than we’re accustomed to. So when people are feeling the loss, what I asked them to do is sit down and put pen to paper, and write that personal letter. Write them a letter, and tell them how much you love them, and how fabulous they were in your lifetime and, and write them a letter about all the wonderful things and memories that you have from being able to have the opportunity to play with them, no matter how long those years were, or how many years that you had together. But just let them know, I love you, I care for you. And I’m really appreciating right now the time that we’ve had together in this life, in this physical journey. We had so much fun, and it was so great! And it wasn’t always perfect. And yes, we argued about this and that and the other thing, but we had a great life together! And I appreciate so much that we were able to share those days. Now when you share that, when you sit down and you write a letter out yourself, should you be grieving for someone, you’re able to actually allow yourself to step more into being close to them again, and the memories, the close memories that you have of their process, instead of their life process instead of the loss. Focus on the joys that you got from them, instead of the loss of them. Now focus on the fact that they were in this life with you and you got to play with them for all the years you got to play with them. Instead of thinking, Oh my God, you’re gone. Now I’m gonna have all these years without you. And so if you are able to provide some mental health in that manner with with people who have lost someone, do it! Do it. This life over chat, life on FaceTime, life on Zoom. This has gotten really challenging, hasn’t it? I gotta tell you, I’m feeling more “techy” than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. However, a situation like this is one of the times when even if you’re not techy, you can reach out. If there’s a few people who like if you want to plant an online Memorial, there’s a few people who were really super close to this person, but know them, they can run the memorial over online and assist so they won’t be as over because they won’t be as overwhelmed with grief and they can pitch in. And they can help out. And people that were close to the deceased person, if you’re going to have an online Memorial or whatnot, they can tell stories at the memorial, and they contribute pictures and whatnot. And you also want to think about some of the technical stuff you might encounter with a dry run, you know, just kind of have a schedule or rehearsal more or less. And if there’s a religious leader in your community that you really like and that was close to the deceased person, then contact them and see if they’d be willing to hold in some kind of a service or lead a virtual ritual online. That would be kind of fun, wouldn’t it?
How Can I Be Compassionate And Kind?
That’s it. That’s pretty much all that I really had to say. I just really, my heart goes out to the people – don’t don’t pass judgment on people who haven’t gotten vaccinated and who are struggling with the decision to get vaccinated. I talk with people every day who are struggling. And I know that I did another podcast about COVID and how I actually was able to get the vaccine even though I’m that person that I just don’t get vaccines. I don’t I know that’s not my my schtick. I tend to sort of stay far away from that kind of stuff. But I want my life to get back to normal and I think a lot of other people do too. But when you lose someone to COVID-19, you’re having a different experience than I had losing my father and my father-in-law. It’s grieving, yes, it is grieving, but it is a different experience than I had. And, and my heart goes out to you. If I’m speaking, if anybody’s listening that has lost someone to COVID, God bless you, I really, really hope that you’re going to give yourself a bit of a break. Allow yourself to not feel guilty and sit down and write that letter. And then pull out those pictures and even if you’re by yourself or even just with your kids or your husband or your partner or sister, talk about these people and share the stories that you want to share and allow yourself to move away from the challenge of having to deal with someone passing away from COVID-19 in your family or in your life. Much love to all of you. I’m excited to talk to you again. On the next edition of Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose.
Thank you for listening to another episode of Medium Well with Psychic Sharyn Rose. If you love hearing Sharyn’s stories and her advice, and want to work with her, all you have to do is go to her website, SharynRose.com. That’s Sharyn with a “Y”. And if you want to enroll in her next session of Kitchen Witchen, which of course is starting in the new year, January 3rd 2022. Well, registration is now open! You can find more information and how to register on our website Kitchenwitchen.ca. Talk to you next time!