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Coping with grief can be difficult at any time. In a world where social contact is limited and access to physical resources are restrained, it’s important to know that there are still people you can reach out to when you’re struggling with grief. From articles about grief to free, over the phone counselling, you are not alone. Physical distancing doesn’t need to mean social distancing; we’re here for you.
First, take a look at Palliative Manitoba’s Telephone Bereavement Program. In this program, you’re matched with a volunteer; they’re not trained counsellors, but caring citizens who want to support you in your time of need. You’ll be able to speak with them around once a week, and your relationship might last a year or longer.
Those who are in need of more immediate care can access a wide variety of crisis lines. The Government of Manitoba provides a list of crisis lines. Don’t worry too much about whether or not your situation is severe enough to be called a crisis - if you feel overwhelmed and you need help right now, it’s a crisis.
You might take a look at some of the many articles written about processing grief during the pandemic. Some of these articles speak about the collective grief we’re all feeling right now, while others will speak specifically to the bereavement process during a time when communities can’t physically gather. Much of the advice that’s always given about grief applies here. Take things slowly. The process is not linear; you may feel great one day, and find your energy depleted the next. Reminders of your loved one can fill you with great joy, great sadness, sometimes both at the same time. Take time for yourself, and don’t be afraid to cancel plans and appointments when necessary.
Remember that your friends and family are a powerful resource. Even though you might not be able to meet up with them in person, you can still call or video chat with them. Generally, audible forms of communication are preferable to text chat; we tend to feel more connected this way. Your friends and family are there to support you. Let them know you want to talk.
We’re here for you, too. Our Winnipeg funeral home has virtual resources you can access during the pandemic. We can arrange for digital memorial services, including live streams and recordings. We can talk to you about your grief; we understand. Give us a call - we can direct you to a lot of other resources not listed here, too.
Processing grief is different for everyone, so don’t worry if none of the resources we’ve listed here fit your needs. We understand it can be difficult to put the effort into accessing resources - grief can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Be easy with yourself - remember that grief is not a permanent state, but a process that ebbs and flows over time.