As the weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing actions continue, Carroll Hospice bereavement counselor Jessica Roschen encourages us to communicate.
“Everyone is grieving,” she says. “They’re fearful of what could happen, and it’s unsettling. It’s a roller coaster of emotions at times.”
Talking to friends and family and expressing our feelings about the situation is a good way to deal with these up-and-down emotions, she says. Taking a break from the news when it gets to be too overwhelming is another.
And don’t discount positive thinking. “Count the blessings you still do have in your life. Your basic needs are being met, and you’re surviving this,” Roschen says. “You’ve made it through a number of weeks already.”
Roschen says the feelings we’re experiencing are just like grief. “There’s sadness, anger about the situation, and being scared for our loved ones, especially those who are working on the front lines,” Roschen says. “With grief, you’re hopeful that the intense feelings will eventually start to diminish. Even though you’ll always miss your loved one, it’ll get easier.”
“With the pandemic, everything is unsettled right now, and it can be scary,” she continues. “But just have that hope that, in several months or a year, we’ll get some normalcy back and it’ll feel more settled than it does right now. So it’s all about hope.”