Don't lock out the grief

Updated: 08 August, 2020 08:44 IST | Jovita Aranha | Mumbai

If you've lost a loved one in the pandemic, support groups offer a safe space to grieve over the loss

Losing a loved one is tough enough. But what happens when you can't say goodbye due to lockdown restrictions? The pandemic has changed how we grieve and city-based psychotherapist, Nilanjana RC Mukherjee agrees. "People in isolation are struggling with grieving. They start withdrawing from all social interactions until their emotions clamp up and lead to a breakdown. So it's incredibly important to find a sanctuary that allows you to share your grief, even if it is an online grief support group. Having someone to speak your heart out with, considering they share the same pain can make a difference," she says. These support groups help you cope with grief.

Living with Loss

Swati IyerSwati Iyer

"The intensity of grief hit me when I lost my father four years ago. Despite having a strong support system, I hit rock bottom. Friends often asked me to move on. That's when I realised I needed a space to speak freely without judgment," shares Mumbai-based Swati Iyer, director at an entertainment company.

That led to the Facebook group Living with Loss, a sanctuary that connects 300 people across geographies.

"Sometimes, all you need is a listening ear, an acknowledgement of your feelings. Grief can make you angry and bitter. We are more isolated in a pandemic. And so it is amazing to see members in the group reach out saying, 'Thanks to this group, I know I'm not alone," she says.

Log on to Living with Loss on Facebook

We hear you

Nyana Sabherwal, was 13 when she lost her mother to suicide. Realising the importance of creating a safe space for families who suffered similar losses, she co-founded We hear you.

Nyana Sabherwal
Nyana Sabherwal

"The grief you feel when you lose someone to suicide is different than losing them to natural circumstances. When a loved one dies by suicide, a lot of families try to get rid of their photographs in an attempt to cope with grief, almost like they never existed. Whereas there are always members who want to remember them but can't at home for the fear of a meltdown. Our online meetings create a safe space for them to keep the memories of their loved one alive. Whether it's a death anniversary or a birthday, people freely share their thoughts," says Sabherwal.

Log on to wehearyou.org.in

COVID-19 Loss Support for Family & Friends

"Today, I buried my husband, my soulmate, my best friend, along with all of our hopes, dreams, and retirement plans." This is just one example of the heartbreaking posts that are shared on this international support group on Facebook. As the pandemic rages, new members share stories. Yes, it is heartbreaking to see people share their grief of losing someone to the virus, but a number of people continue to support each other through the difficult time. Photographs, tattoos of remembrance, poems, and videos to honour memories are shared with the group daily.

Log on to COVID-19 Loss Support for Family & Friends on Facebook

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First Published: 08 August, 2020 08:02 IST

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