Grieving……..Pandemic Style

By, Heidi Khalil, August 19, 2022…………….. (Part One)

GRIEF…. how do we face it, when the world has become such a smaller place since the onset of this crazy pandemic? Just about everyone knows that it is healthy to grieve. But, what about when you cannot be there to bid farewell to your loved one in person?

During this pandemic, I have had to say good-bye to my mother and brother from afar. My mother passed during the hard lock downs, in another country over 3,000 miles and oceans away. This was when planes were grounded, and nothing moved. She was elderly, and we expected that this could happen at any time, as she was in declining health for many years. At that time, people who normally travelled were laying low, until the “storm” blew over.

I started the grieving process as well as I could, but it was so disconnected and incomplete. It left me feeling anxious, on edge, and with a deep sadness. I couldn’t seem to grieve properly. There were a couple of short services that were live streamed…. following her death, but they left me hanging on…like a movie that didn’t have a proper ending.

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However, it seems that the only way to get on a plane and travel at that time was if you were deceased. There seemed to be no problem with my mother’s body boarding a flight and travelling across continents to her burial place. The main service for her ended up being held 2 months later…. online. It was well attended, and nicely done. The service ended up lasting for 5 hours with the mourners, and an additional 2-3 hours was spent on the same platform with the family members just talking and reminiscing, comforting each other. It was then that I started feeling that she had been put to rest. I felt my whole body starting to relax. Even though the tears were rolling, I was starting my process. Things got a little better day by day.

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