COVID-19 RESOURCES & UPDATES
As we all cope with the many changes in our lives responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand the challenges many are feeling in this time of uncertainty and social isolation. We are here to help.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will be providing information and resources to support the emotional needs of children, families, students, and communities navigating new life circumstances. At the same time, we will continue to remotely support families in our programs with innovative and adaptive resources.
Our primary goal is to help you build resilience during this time of uncertainty.
We’re not going anywhere. Let’s build resilience together!
We have released a new podcast series providing Good Grief’s perspective on the importance of memorializing family and friends in this time of COVID-19, social distancing, and limited group gatherings. The 10-part series, narrated by Joe Primo, offers a how-to for creating a funeral while in quarantine. We hope you find the series helpful and welcome your feedback.
COVID-19 is radically changing all aspects of our lives including how we honor and remember people when they die. In the introduction to this 10-part podcast series, Good Grief CEO Joe Primo shares his perspective that funerals are rituals that all of us need as humans. He emphasizes the importance of planning and creating meaningful rituals at home in times of a pandemic or when we are unable to gather as community to memorialize the passing of a loved one.
In part 1 of our series, we begin with the basics exploring all the aspects of a funeral that make it both meaningful and doable at home. Funerals are intellectual, physical and spiritual experiences that can be created alone, with your chosen family a close group of friends or whomever. A funeral is often one of the first steps, or maybe leaps, into grief. So, think about this ritual as a beginning.
Creating a ritual starts with grounding ourselves in our experience and grief. Every choice about how to create a ritual comes from your grief, your hopes, your uncertainties, and your desire to acknowledge this moment in time. Memorial rituals move you from a world in which your person was physically present to a world that no longer contains that person.
Funeral rituals are acts of doing. Doing is about choosing, creating, planning, movement, and the expression of your grief. Incorporating natural objects, mementos, visual and audio aids into your ritual will help you express your grief. There is no such thing as a perfectly planned or executed funeral so you can and should feel empowered to express yourself. Since nothing is prescribed, your grief and expression can fully emerge.
Music invokes feelings and memory. The rhythm, the beat, the lyrics can all set the tone for our life’s narrative. This is true for joy-filled moments and for moments of sorrow. Music can be the tool for moving you into your grief. It can also be the tool that lifts you up from the rawness, if only for a moment. Creating a playlist and incorporating it into your ritual can be helpful to your mourning.
Have you ever been to a funeral before and not recognized the person everyone is talking about? We tend to romanticize the dead so simply appreciating the humanness of someone who has died can be of great help to our grief. The power of memories is that they often help us see how joy and sorrow can exist at the same time enabling us to cry then laugh then cry again.
Grief is complicated and seldom a tidy or carefree experience. The brain can be an impossible organ, especially when we are grieving. In regular times, we have habitual thoughts that can be unhelpful to our self-esteem. Now, throw grief into the mix and the challenges surmount. And then, on top of that, you cannot attend the funeral of a loved one because of the quarantine. Things just got even more complicated.
Grief and the many feelings that accompany death are taking a back seat these days to life celebrations. But gratitude is much more powerful than a life celebration. Expressing gratitude allows us to give thanks for someone’s life and helps us explore the lessons their life or death teaches us. And, gratitude opens the door for us to think about continuing remembrance rituals well into the future. In other words, gratitude can be ongoing.
There are many logistics to a traditional funeral but in times when gathering as a community is not possible, we offer a “how to” for creating a ritual at home. Remember, no ritual is perfect. Come as you are. Mourning is doing and you can create new rituals as often as you like and need. When we die, we are not limited to one funeral in one place or at one moment in time.
Finally, this is a message for kids that you can share with them or put into your own words after someone dies: When people die, we have funerals for them, and this helps us with our grief. Funerals help us express our feelings, tell stories about the person who died and talk to people who want to help us. Funerals are important because they help us say goodbye to the person who has died. Funerals are for everyone including kids.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you to create a more supportive environment for grieving children and families.