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The quarantined duel

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Quarantined duel-Quarantined grief is a reality present in more and more homes. Worldwide, there are already more than 245000 deaths from corona virus and everything indicates that the numbers will continue to increase in the coming months, until really effective treatments or a vaccine are obtained.

This has led to a very significant increase in deaths in many countries, especially in Europe and North America. To these losses we must add those due to other unavoidable deaths -by age, previous pathology or other causes-, plus those that could not be adequately addressed by the saturation of ICUs in some areas.

For this reason, we are facing a moment with a high number of deaths in which people cannot say goodbye to their loved ones in the usual way.

What can we expect during the quarantined duel?

 the quarantined duel

The death of a loved one is one of those life situations in which we need human contact the most. It is a moment of fragility in which we feel how our soul breaks. And sharing it with the rest of loved ones alleviates our pain.

In the current situation, this action is not possible, so the preparation of the quarantined duel may be affected in some aspects:

  • Our stress level can increase significantly, since being isolated makes it more difficult to manage this new situation. Stress can alter our heart rate; cause us to have insomnia, nightmares, headaches or worse digestions, among other symptoms.
  • Our emotions can be further intensified due to the stress of confinement itself.
  • We may have difficulty starting and preparing the mourning due to the fact that we do not hold a wake or a funeral in the traditional way.
  • The acceptance of reality is complicated: if we did not live with the deceased person and did not notice his physical absence, at certain moments it may seem to us that the person is not deceased.

What emotions are most common during grief

The thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise in the face of the death of a loved one are multiple: the little ones tend to be more irritable and fearful. And  while adolescents and adults tend to be sadder and more discouraged. However, it should be remembered that each person develops grief in their own way and there are many ways to integrate it.

Regardless of whether we process the duel, emotions will take center stage in the early stages. Some of the ones that we can experience more commonly are:

Sadness

Sadness is the emotion that is most associated with grief. It may be manifested in the form of tears. But also with lack of energy, carelessness in personal care, pessimistic thoughts. Or little interest in the environment, among others.

During grief, it is important that we find a space and a time to feel sadness; in this way, we will not repress it and integrate it better.

However, it is also important that we carry out activities that keep us away from it the rest of the day. Otherwise, it is easy for emotion to become depressed and more difficult to deal with.

Fear

Fear is easily exacerbated at the time of mourning. We may be afraid that someone close to us will also die, not being able to manage the situation, getting sick if the person has died of an illness, driving if it was due to an accident, death itself and so many other ‘ghosts’ that they may appear at such a time.

We must learn to live with our fears to make them smaller, since, if we avoid them, they become bigger. Strategies like cognitive restructuring or systematic desensitization can effectively help us manage them.

Go to

When we don’t accept a situation or call it unfair, anger often appears. This can be very disabling if we do not know how to manage it properly. Therefore, learning breathing and relaxation techniques or self-control techniques can be of great help to us.

Guilt

Guilt can flood our thoughts in a very deep way if we believe that we did not do everything right at the time. To overcome it, there is nothing like learning to forgive yourself and all those people that we can consider that they did not act correctly in a situation.

Strategies for coping with grief in quarantine

quarantined duel

Mourning transforms the broken and wounded soul, the soul that no longer wishes to get up in the morning, the soul that is unable to find a reason to live, the soul that has suffered an incredible loss. Grief has the power to heal.

The fundamental difference to the rest of the duels that we have carried out so far is that, in the current situation, most people cannot say goodbye to the deceased. Some of the admitted patients can share their last words via phone or video conference, but it is not always possible.

In addition, during the state of alarm, the wake is prohibited and only three people can attend the funeral. Therefore, it is important that we keep in mind some strategies.

Develop a parting ritual

Although we cannot physically say goodbye to the deceased, we can make some kind of goodbye: a letter, a drawing if the children are young, collecting the most significant photos or writing a poem to the deceased person can be some ideas.

Avoid social isolation

Although there are no hugs, it is important to share our feelings with our closest friends. Technology allows us to make calls, video calls and send us messages, written and voice.

Let’s use these tools to ask, if we need something in particular, and to communicate our emotions with others. The pain will be equally profound, but shared it is easier to bear.

Let the feelings come out

It is evident that negative emotions during grief intensify. So we must not avoid them, but we must let them flow. The more we avoid them, the more we will prolong suffering.

Manage negative thoughts

What we say to ourselves while grieving is key to our emotional well-being. Therefore, it is important to be aware of whether our thoughts are being excessively negative.

Cry

Crying releases stress hormones and has a sedative effect. In the loss of a loved one, sadness is inevitable. If this is accompanied by tears, it will help us better manage emotion.

To write

Writing is a highly therapeutic strategy in a multitude of psychological disorders. Since we cannot relate to others as we would like during the quarantined grief, writing will help us not feel so alone, get to know each other better, connect better with our emotions and express what is difficult for us to put into words.

Physical exercise

Doing some physical activity reduces our level of stress, anger and anxiety and is highly recommended when we are sad. So it’s important that we get minimally activated to feel better, whether it’s moving around the house if strict confinement continues, or going outside when possible.

Final recommendations during the quarantined duel

Grief is a process in which we go through deep pain. On that path we encounter many difficulties. Currently, one of them is living it in confinement, without being able to share our pain in the way we are used to.

Despite the enormous difficulty that this implies, it is important to remember that this situation is circumstantial. Later, we can hold a more elaborate farewell celebration with the rest of family and friends.

While that moment arrives, we must continue with the rest of the stages that involve preparing a duel. For this, it is essential that we come into deep contact with our emotions and do not try to avoid them.

Furthermore, if we share them with other family members, we will feel closer to them, we will strengthen our ties and that connection will help us to better manage pain.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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