Current NewsDetails

We need to accept grief As a collective loss

14 Jun 2022

We need to accept grief
As a collective loss
—Dr. Tej K. Munshi
These past two years have brought us all nearer to grief, whether we have experienced the loss of someone close or dearer to us or have read the mounting number of Covid deaths and obituaries or have mourned the absence of past moments with the departed, none of us could avoid grief. Now over two years into the pandemic it has turned into long-term grief. Covid has offered us an understanding how we are affected by loss to express openly our grief and recognize the trauma caused.
Bidwell Smith, author on pain, grief and mourning, cautions the readers against resisting grief, again returning too quickly to reclaim our previous normal. “We need to be able to talk about it, share our stories of loss, and we need to have someone bear witness to what we are experiencing”, she says. She would like medical professionals and educationists to be well versed in language of loss and end of life to deal with those who face grieving, emotionally, physically and logically. Smith and Joan Didion, American grief experts, want us to know that we can move through that grief somewhere, accepting our finitude and finding peace with it. Grief embodies finitude and reminds us that we are stuck in our bodies and our life and we don’t get to choose global health in this world.
Western culture loves to pretend that nothing is lost and nothing is wasted and nothing is a setback, it’s just a setup. Historian Kate Bowler, believes that grief is such an important place to stay, to help us face the reality of our lives. Recognising the grief that is there, helps people move through it in a way that yields more healing, steeping in anger and anxiety. It is not just death that leaves us grieving, there are clients dealing with health issues, or divorce, or moving somewhere else. Even with the benefit of preparing ourselves better, grieving will remain a process for which individuals, families, and communities need to allow real time and care. It shouldn’t surprise any of us who have survived this pandemic to note that grief cloaks itself in anxiety and fear.   
Effect of pet animals’ death on kids: The death of a family dog or cat may be far more traumatic for our little ones than we think. It is often the first major loss that a child faces. And according to a study of 6,260 children under age 8 and many kids especially boys, still show signs of depression or psychological distress, three years after the loss of a pet. Some children can form bonds with pets similar to the ones they form with people, the researchers say. Kids confide in their furry friends and get affection, comfort and security from them. They take the time and tenderness to recognize their pain that may go deeper and last longer, where a paediatrician alone can help. n