As we are all acutely aware, 2020 was a challenging year and 2021 isn't a whole lot better, yet. We, as a global community, have passed some grim milestones. At the time of this article, the cases of the Corona virus in Canada have passed the 860,000 person mark for those affected. There have been nearly 22,000 deaths from the illness in Canada and over 400,000,000 deaths worldwide. These are staggering numbers. They are an indicator of the extent of both individual and collective grief. Some have referred to this as another form of pandemic - it is a pandemic of grief.
In addition to the Corona virus, there are all the other deaths that are occurring every day from terminal illnesses, sudden unpredictable events, and pet loss. For the people who are grieving any loss, it has been complicated by their inability to be present for the people they love who are dying in facilities.
The overwhelming grief and bereavement have taken their toll on the families who have lost loved ones. Your daily functioning is made even harder because you didn't have the closure you deserve in your time of loss. You may be dealing with other aspects of the viral pandemic, including isolation, as well.
Far too often society does not consider funeral service and the need for closure as an essential part of the cycle of life and health. For people who have lost pets during the last year, the need to grief support is also extremely important.
It has been said that we live in a world that doesn't want to allow you to experience grief. We live in a society that not only wants you to just get over it and move on, but these days, people may not even know that you are experiencing loss.
Not all losses have come from death or dying. We may be grieving loss of a job, a relationship, a wedding, social contact, and more. Rarely does society permit us to grieve these losses. We are still expected to adapt, move on, overcome, etc. What we really need is time to acknowledge our feelings, process the grief we are feeling, and eventually find meaning.
On one hand, we come from a long line of grief and have an ability to handle it. Our hearts know how to grieve. After all, we've had millennia to practice. It's in our DNA. However, the society in which we live must support us in that grief, but currently doesn't.
Survivors often become trapped in guilt and relive their loved one's final moments without remembering happier times, too. What we really miss the person, pet, job, etc, that we had in the way it was when times were happier and everyone was healthy. Our rational brain knows this, but the emotions, since they are not always supported, tend to run amok and we have days of overwhelm where it's all just too much to bear.
Wouldn't it be great if we felt more love and compassion for ourselves in grief? Instead, our minds tell us otherwise and we spend our days in pain. People may try to help us by telling us about the stages of grief. They may even suggest that “you should be over it, by now” ( something similar). While well-meaning and unless they process grief in the same way that we do (yes, people do grieve differently) it might not be much help. Not only that, the stages of grief are not linear and can happen in any order. We can go back and forth through the stages, as well.
So, what do we do? We talk. We listen. We do our self care. We reach out, if needed to professionals who can help us. We don't try to go it alone. Historically, the society in which we lived helped us process our grief. It's time to get back to the support we need.
Grief and bereavement have become much more central to my work as a Metaphysical Minister as well. I have taken additional training in Grief and Bereavement Counseling, Pet Bereavement, and End of Life Counselling in order to help families in their time of need.
I’ve been there and I can help you. Please reach out.
Rev. Shirlee Rankin has been a therapist, educator, and speaker for over 30 years and is an Advanced Soul Realignment Practitioner, Ohana Generational Healing Practitioner, Reiki Master, Crystal Practitioner, Animal Communicator, and is an Ordained Metaphysical Minister.
Through years of dedication and study in various physical and metaphysical streams, she is dedicated to helping people discover their Divine Life Purpose and assists couples and families with Soul Realignment, Relationship Readings, Healing family traumas, and performs crystal and reiki treatments for both people and animals.
Shirlee is now called to help in a new way by becoming a metaphysical minister and offering her services as a counselor, wedding officiant, and celebrates life transitions.