Life seemed easier before we were struck by a global pandemic. It wasn’t easy financially, poverty still existed, and the massive unemployment rate was always there, hovering in the background like a dark storm cloud about to release a torrent of rain.
The wars, injustice, racism and gender-based violence never seemed to lessen, but as humans, if these were the enemies, we identified them and could continue fighting to ease life for those who were suffering.
The straw that broke the camel’s back; that simultaneously divided and destroyed us, was and still is our loved ones dying due to Covid19. The lockdown restrictions designed to curb or create a “herd mentality,” to manage the pandemic, has rendered us, as people unable to move about freely. The inability to attend religious and social gatherings is nothing compared to the restrictions around attending funerals of loved ones.
People dying is a part of life, much like babies being born, but what isn’t a part of life is the number of people succumbing to Covid19 and the family members and friends being unable to attend the funerals.
Funerals are a huge part of the bereaved being able to “say their goodbyes.”
As humans, we need closure! We need to go through the processes of “letting go,” of grieving and mourning those that have left this world.
Because of our current lockdown circumstances, mourners are watching funeral processions via an app, creating an almost “impersonal,” attendance, and it’s taking its toll on our psyche. The “mental” preparation required to realize that someone you loved has passed away is a process. Now, when we hear about the death of someone we knew via social media platforms, we commiserate, it’s a shock to our systems, but if we turn away from the “death announcement,” via our mobile phones or laptops, the world around us seems the same.
It feels as if the death is a movie we are watching, and though we are shocked, once we move our eyes away from the screen, we can make coffee, go to the toilet or clean the house and so on. When we turn our eyes away from the screen, our emotions and the pain of loss is almost “interrupted.” Now life feels as if it paused for just a moment, a hiccup while breathing. Breathing is momentarily interrupted when we sneeze or cough, but when that’s done, breathing continues. We don’t focus on the sneeze or cough once it’s done and our lives carry on. This is what hearing of or experiencing death without a funeral is about; A moment of interruption, until we stop and think and reality sets in. We are then left heartbroken, and in that state, where does our broken hearts go?
Funerals are meant to deal with the process of broken hearts, or at least the start of healing because funerals give closure.
In these frightening, uncertain times, hearing about multiple deaths and often not knowing who to grieve for first, is overwhelming- Add to that, the inability to attend funerals and the current ills of the world, and people, it’s a lot to deal with!
We need an opening to manage our hearts that have been broken!
We need closure from the grief that is “choking” and threatening to destroy our sanity!
We need a safe road for our hearts to “walk,” a procession until we can “confront,” our hearts and start on the arduous journey of living without those we loved.
Grief interrupted, in my opinion, makes the process of grieving and mourning longer, and leaves our emotions in Limbo until we are ready to face it, if we find ourselves ready to face it.
We need to form groups, healing groups, and talk about methods we can use for our “interrupted grief” because, if we don’t, I fear that grief interrupted will render us vulnerable to anger outbursts and a myriad of mental health trauma.