This Isn’t Your Typical Grief: Part of the Pandemic We’re Not Talking Enough About

Image via Child Guidance Resource Centers.

Right now, there is a lot for every one of us to grieve.

Cancelled trips, baby showers, weddings, birthday celebrations.

People have lost a paycheck and financial stability, time with loved ones, freedom and flexibility.

You have the right to grieve, especially as the unknown time for social distancing gets lengthened.

In this article by Scott Berinato, he writes about the different kinds of grief. We are all going through different stages of grief at different paces.

  • There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us.
  • There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities.
  • There’s bargaining: OK, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right?
  • There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end.
  • And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.

We’re each somewhere different between anger and acceptance right now, and that’s OK. Take your time.

Grief is not a competition. We all feel pain and loss, just under different circumstances.

Name something and we take away some of its power, allowing ourselves the space to make positive change. So let’s call it out: it’s OK to feel sad and experience grief in this transitional and temporary time.  We all are.

So let’s take extra good care of ourselves. Be gentle with yourself and one another. Practice compassion and empathy. This is the very first time you’ve gone through something like this.

In the first episode of Brenee Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us. She talks about the feeling we get when we experience something for the first time. Whether good, bad, or neutral, a first time is vulnerable and can evoke overwhelming emotions.

Right now, we are living in a global first time. No one knows how to live in this world. We are all quite literally doing our best in each moment, and that best is different for everyone.

It’s OK to feel sad. In fact, it’s a good thing! Once we understand what we are experiencing, we can make changes to that experience. We can then understand why we feel “off” and work toward feeling better.

Take baby steps. Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Reach out to your supports. We are all in this together. Perhaps most importantly, believe it will get better. It always does.


Lauren Pescatore is a family, child, and adolescent therapist who has been with Child Guidance for seven years. She is currently a Family First clinician. She is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and preparing to obtain her clinical license (LSCW) later this year.

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