Grief is felt uniquely by every individual, which is often why it is such a lonely experience at the best of times. But during these worst of times, the loneliness of grief has come under sharp focus.
Many talk of the ‘serum of sharing’ when it comes to managing a loss, taking comfort and strength from talking and being with others. This year’s imposed periods of isolation have stripped so much of that away, meaning many have grieved remotely, struggling to find light during the dark days of an already pretty dusky backdrop.
A UK-wide piece of research https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/nov/26/uks-26m-covid-bereaved-suffer-heightened-grief-finds-study has also highlighted that Covid grief is actually worse than other types of grief. It emphasised that those bereaved by coronavirus itself experienced “greatly increased negative experiences” and showed higher grief and support needs compared to people suffering the loss of loved ones from other illnesses, including cancer. Not being able to say goodbye and less support has contributed to longer and unresolved pain.
The silent grief of pregnancy loss has also been placed in the public eye as a result of high profile experiences from The Duchess of Sussex and Chrissy Teigen. The baby boom of 2020 is of course a trend to create a warm glow. But the less cheerful outcome is the shockingly common experience of miscarriage. An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, according to the charity Tommy’s. The majority occurring within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, often dealt with privately at home or swiftly in hospitals.
Clea Harmer, chief executive of stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands, has talked of how the experience “leaves many parents feeling isolated” and “the isolation we have all felt this year has made it even more difficult for parents whose baby has died during the Covid-19 pandemic and has brought back painful emotions for all those who have lost precious loved ones.”
Women have talked about how Covid constraints meant they faced the cruel isolation of solo hospital visits – without a partner to squeeze their hand during predictably agonising scans.
Many of the leading charities such as the Miscarriage Association and Tommy’s have praised Meghan, and others in the public eye, for talking openly about their experience, helping others know that they are not alone. Our Inner Peace community is open for people to share their experiences.
Your employees may be experiencing struggles you can’t see, with many silently carrying the complexity of grief this year. Show them they are not alone through BHSF RISE, a tailored mental health and wellbeing service which provides unlimited, ongoing specialist support built around an individual’s specific needs.