Grieving during a pandemic

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COVID-19 is complicating the process of grieving. Proper goodbyes to loved ones have been affected and it’s more difficult for friends to comfort the bereaved. Dr. Irwin Sandler of ASU’s psychology department talked to us about how grieving has changed.

What is grief?

According to Dr. Sandler, “Grief is a response to loss, and when we lose something we love, people we love, even things we love, work we love, there’s a real sense of loss. One of the things that’s important is to stop for a moment and recognize that’s what you are going through.”

Dr. Sandler discusses the problem, he says the question is “where do we get our support?” We’re struggling to cope with reality because our reality has changed. We can no longer get comfort and relief from people and this is something everyone has to adjust to. Dr. Sandler emphasizes the importance of taking the time to realize what you’re feeling.

For children, this process is even harder. Especially if they’ve lost a loved one during the pandemic.

Irwin Sandler, Research Professor REACH Institute & Dept. of Psychology, ASU

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