Dealing with Grief and Loss amid COVID-19

Belgium

Europe

Emptiness…
An overwhelming emptiness…

We are currently watching history being made in front of us. In times like these, we can experience a plethora of emotions. Some people are experiencing happiness, others sadness. Some are experiencing braveness, others fear. And yet… At this very moment in time and space, I feel empty. Just total, complete, overwhelming emptiness.


It’s probably because I’m still in shock and not yet able to process what has happened. You might be wondering what I am talking about… Well, I heard that I lost a family member just a few hours ago, not due to Corona, but due to cancer. Yet, at this very moment, everyone who loses someone is the same. We’re all here, sitting in our own homes, not able to process a single thing. All due to quarantine.

Emptiness…
An overwhelming emptiness…

You’re never ready to lose someone, it’s always too soon. However, the thing about grief and loss amid COVID-19 is that it takes away the humanity. It’s a piece in the grieving process that we lose. To me, that’s something really troublesome, because now I don’t feel like she’s passed away. In my mind, she’s still alive but just moved to the other side of the world, as if she turned her back on her family and left. Which isn’t the case, but it feels that way.

You’re never ready to lose someone, it’s always too soon. However, the thing about grief and loss amid COVID-19 is that it takes away the humanity.

Emptiness…
An overwhelming emptiness…

I’m an introvert, I’ve always been, and I’ll always be. Because of this, the effects of quarantine haven’t hit me that hard. I’ve always been someone that doesn’t really go out that much, so I’m used to it. Because of this, I didn’t really understand how other people could complain about the lack of human contact. However, now it’s hitting hard. The lack of a hug, someone holding your hand, listening to you, or just even sitting next to you without saying anything. It’s that feeling of comfortableness that we now have to miss, that feeling that it’s ok to experience the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with grief because there are people there by your side ready to comfort you.

There’s a Dutch word which perfectly describes this feeling ‘huidhonger’ which, if you translate it literally, means ‘skin hungry’; it’s a craving to be touched and comforted by another human (mind you, just in a friendly manner).

Emptiness…
An overwhelming emptiness…

And yet… on this Easter day, I’m also reminded of the fact that life and death are two concepts that go hand in hand. While I’m sitting here in my room, writing this as a way to process what has happened, I see three birds flying by my window. It’s something that doesn’t happen too often here in the city. However, due to quarantine and the arrival of spring, there’s life in abundance. I decide to open my window to catch the last few rays of sunshine. There’s a beautiful sunset happening, you know those where the sky is filled with all different shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple. I’m wondering if this is a coincidence or not… Complete silence… Except for those three birds who are now chirping in the bushes. There’s something peaceful about the scene.

Emptiness…
With a shimmer of hope…
Hope that all will be well one day.

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