There is no new normal post Covid.
Every one of us is, after all, grieving to some degree.
That’s the idea behind my first feature for Saga Magazine, an article I have been working on this past week.
My article explores, through case studies and expert comment, the loss we have all experienced during the pandemic and how we, both collectively and individually, can hope to move forward.
Psychologists talk about the five stages of grief, namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
But for one of my case study interviewees, Kerry, whose husband died last November, the whole experience has been an emotional rollercoaster, not a linear route.
“Sometimes at night, sleeping on his side in an empty bed, I call out to him. ‘Jeremy, where are you? Where are you?’ When there’s no response, I feel so alone.”
Kerry started keeping a diary as a means to express her grief, a key element of finding a path through the darkness.
“I started writing a journal to record the rollercoaster of emotions I’ve been through. It’s my substitute for counselling,” she says.
Amongst the expert interviewees for the feature is Julia Samuel, the pyschotherapist and author whose book Grief Works I read and admired. She told me:
“The only thing we can be certain of in life is change. We have to grow with the change. When we try to suppress it, we do not thrive.”
Julia explained how, for every death, at least eight people are affected, often many more.
With the UK death total from the pandemic currently nudging 140,000, a lot of people have been touched by tragedy in the past year.
How do they – we – all find a new normal?
“When grieving, it’s like having less layers of skin, so you feel raw,” said Julia. “My advice is to intentionally do things to soothe yourself.”
Read the full feature in the June issue of Saga Magazine — subscribe here.
I’m available for civil celebrant ceremonies in the Northwest region.
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