Dealing with death during the Coronavirus Crisis - vitapsy


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Dealing with death during the Coronavirus Crisis

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Nations all over the world, millions of people are pleading their governments and health plan providers to pay more attention to chronic and terminal diseases. Coronavirus is causing an ongoing panic and most medical resources are being directed into a fight against Covid-19.

Meanwhile patients with cancer, for example, and/or other life threatening diseases are suffering, because they are not the priority anymore, and the medical care provided to them is lower than the usual, aside from the fact that medical crews all over the world are exhausted working 24/7 in miserable conditions.
Numbers worldwide show an increasing number of deaths unrelated to Covid-19. The reasons behind this are diverse, starting from a decreasing level of medical care, to sick people with lower immune systems postponing their treatment in medical facilities because of their fear of contracting Covid-19, not to forget higher stress levels because of social isolation which is causing slimmer chances of survival.

Different cultures have different ways of dealing with grief. Our behavior, traditions and rituals are related to our beliefs and values, but all the ceremonies and the customs, no matter how different, aim to deal with the pain of losing a loved one and when I say "deal" I mean to overcome in a healthy way, to move on, and stay functional while certainly not forgetting the person we lost, easier said than done, grief is a painful journey of 5 stages:
  • Denial, not being able to process our loss
  • Anger, not understanding and not being able to reason our loss
  • Bargaining, Trying to make deals to recover our loss
  • Depression, a deep painful feeling of sadness over our loss
  • Acceptance, a sense of "giving up" and accepting our loss
Death being the ultimate truth, no one can escape it, we just manage to live with it. Customs and rituals that represent our values as human beings in a time of loss are instinctively tailored to a perfect fit shadowing these 5 stages of grief.  We have ceremonies to celebrate someone's life and allow people to express their grief, their love and their support, because death  creates a sense of chaos and a mourning person can easily slip into a clinical depression, our routine helps the deceased's family to set a frame to better their life quality, everything we do is related to support, even the dress code expresses support. So what do we do now if death occurs? We adapt!
With the quarantine, the lockdown and most importantly the social distancing, we are unable to hug a grieving mother, a mourning child after the loss of his grandpa, we are not even allowed to pass on a handkerchief! BUT we can call on a regular basis, arrange virtual prayer groups, share stories about the deceased, show our compassion by listening to the grieving person's struggle, give him/her time to reach the acceptance phase, and even, if you are a good cook, send some comfort food:)

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