By Larry Dawalt, M. Div., BCC, Senior Director of Spiritual & Grief Care Services
...don’t be afraid to admit that you are sad, lonely and hurting- especially if your loss is new. These are difficult days, and we are not all in the same boat. But we are in the same storm...
In a conversation with a survivor a few weeks ago, we were talking about everyone being in the same boat regarding quarantining and social distancing during this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we reflected together, though, we came to the conclusion that we may all be in the same storm, but we aren’t all in the same boat.
Some people still have their jobs, with regular income, social interaction- even though it may be virtual rather than in person- and companionship at home. Others may have companionship, but they have little to no income and may be having trouble making ends meet. Others are simply alone, with limited social contact and a house full of memories instead of the presence of their loved one.
At Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, we have made some significant adjustments in the way we provide grief care. Instead of office or home visits, we are making phone calls and also making visits using technologies that permit virtual communication. Actually, we are just as busy as before because many of our survivors need support now more than ever, and our counselors are wonderful people to talk with during these difficult days. But group support is more difficult because not everyone has access to the technology that enables them to be a part of a virtual gathering, and our grief groups and workshops are currently suspended until contact precautions are lifted.
So, how do we reach those who can’t reach us but still need support? That’s where you come in. Look around. Do you know anyone who may be struggling during these times- someone with minimal or maybe even no support? If you do, reach out and check on them. Give them a call. You don’t have to offer any sage advice. Just let them know that you care about them and wanted them to know it. See if they need any supplies or if it’s okay for you to call every now and then and see how they are doing.
If you’re someone who needs support, reach out. Call us at HPCCR (704.375.0100) and a grief counselor will call you back. Or call a friend or neighbor and see how they are doing. Even though you may be the one who needs conversation, it will help them as well. Many people are spending the majority of their days at home, so it’s a good time to communicate.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to admit that you are sad, lonely and hurting- especially if your loss is new. These are difficult days, and we are not all in the same boat. But we are in the same storm, so reach let’s reach out and keep each other comforted until the storm passes by.