grief in a pandemic

The last six months have been life changing! Everyone has been going through their fair share of things during this coronavirus pandemic and I’m no different. As someone that lives with an anxiety disorder, it all has me questioning my mortality a little more each day. I lost my aunt, I briefly lost my job, and I experienced a miscarriage. Needless to say, it has been rough for me. 2020 feels like the year of loss.


I’ve never been one to express my grief in front of others. I might let a few tears fall but they would always be silent tears. Then, after a day or two, my life would feel normal again. I never got hung up on death. I look at it as an inevitable part of life that we shouldn’t dwell on. Or maybe that’s the excuse I give myself to not have to deal with my emotions...


My Auntie Angie was my favorite aunt. When I was a kid, she always took my cousins and I on family vacations. Thanks to her, I fell in love with road trips. She never had children of her own but she loved us, her nieces, like her own. She was the glue that kept everyone together. She was also my mom’s best friend. We both took her death very hard. Our family never got to host a memorial service for her, although we have tried to plan one a few times. The policies in place from the coronavirus prevented it every time. I think that part hurts the most. My aunt was loved by many and we never got to honor her the way she deserved.


After my miscarriage, I felt like I was drowning for weeks. Even my best friends noticed I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t pregnant very long but it was very real. Once I stopped being in denial about what was happening, I felt the worst grief I have ever felt in my life. It was unexplainable; I can barely put into words how I felt and still do feel. I have been mourning someone I never met. Because of the government orders, I had to go to every doctor’s appointment by myself, which made me feel like I was going through this all alone.


It doesn’t help the grieving process when you’re forced to be by your lonesome. Fellowship always helps people process their pain, especially myself. The ways I have gotten through my grief are:


  1. Therapy - Talk therapy is something I will always recommend someone do. I’ve been through therapy many times in my life and it has helped every time. I got a new therapist during the pandemic and it has been difficult to open up to her but nonetheless, it has been a lifesaver. Literally.

  2. Spending time with friends and family - My cousins and I make sure we get together every now and then to have a good time. My friends have also been a great support system by visiting me or inviting me over. They listen when I vent and love on me when I need it most.

  3. Watching good TV shows - Thank God for Strong Black Lead on Netflix! They have been giving me the best things to watch ever since my favorites, How to Get Away with Murder and Greenleaf, ended for good.

  4. Getting out of town - My best friend’s birthday is in August and we celebrate together every year, even though she lives in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia area) and I live in Detroit. This year we went to Atlanta and went back a month later...and planned another trip for next month. Getting out of my usual space has helped me the most.


My best friend and I fell in love with Atlanta and decided we are going to move there soon. We both have had some rough times recently and feel like starting over somewhere new is the best idea. When exactly we’re going to do that, who knows. Moving cross country during a pandemic probably isn’t ideal but since we don’t know when the pandemic will end…

I’ll be sure to update you all when it’s that time :-).

If you are also grieving, maybe some of the things that have helped me can help you too. Feel free to drop some of your own tips in the comments. I wish you well on your journey.

Until next time,

--Semia


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