When someone you love, or are close to dies, it’s hard enough, but suddenly things have changed. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who are now not able to share last moments with their loved ones who have been hospitalised with COVID-19, who can’t see family for a hug, and instead have to self-isolate after a loss. 
 
The order of things has been turned upside-down. People can’t say goodbye in the way they would expect. There may be a ‘guilt’ element that your loved one has died alone, even though it’s out of your control. Lives and indeed relationships have suddenly been cut short. And then the funeral. Many friends and relatives have had the ritual of saying goodbye taken away from them; something that is part of the normal grieving process. 
When You Can't Say Goodbye

Dealing with unresolved grief 

When we usually talk about unresolved grief, it’s to do with things that have been left unsaid. However, this presents to us a new variant of unresolved grief; the inability to say goodbye, which may then limit grievers from becoming complete with their loss in the future. 
 
How can you get around this? As with many aspects of our lives, we’re having to recreate and reinvent what we already have. Using FaceTime, Zoom, House Party, WhatsApp and the good old-fashioned telephone all offer ways to connect you with your loved ones, so you’re not grieving in isolation. Keep talking and sharing with one another. Planning a memorial event can help those who are unable to attend a funeral have an opportunity to say goodbye. Lighting candles at a set time and sharing photos with one another also shows solidarity. You could even set up a Facebook group to share photos and memories that can later be used at a memorial service. 
 
If you’re struggling with a loss of someone from COVID-19, or you’ve lost a loved one during this time and can’t say goodbye, we have Grief Recovery Specialists you can speak to in real time via weblink. Click here for our online directory. 
When you can't say goodbye due to covid
Now may be the right time to pick up a copy of The Grief Recovery Handbook, also available as an audio book in our online shop
About the Author 
Maria Bailey
Maria Bailey is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist and looks after media relations for Grief Recovery UK. She has spent her career working in public relations. Maria now lives by the seaside in Devon with her family and dog, and is a school governor and preschool chairman. 

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