Death and mourning in the coronavirus crisis: what to do?

One of the great tragedies we are experiencing in our fight against the coronavirus is linked to the deaths of our loved ones.

Due to its special characteristics, isolation and the high degree of infection of the virus, deaths occur in solitude., Without the company of loved ones. Added to this are the security measures that are taken in this regard, preventing farewells, funerals, vigils and other rituals necessary to dismiss a member of our family and thus be able to start crying.

    the dual

    One of the most painful experiences people have is saying goodbye and coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. Grieving is the process by which ora person develops an adaptive response to the loss of a loved one.

    The duration of this process depends on many factors such as, for example, the connection with the deceased person, the cause of death, the degree of spirituality, the existence or not of a farewell, etc.

    On the other hand, in the grieving process, we can distinguish several phases that help us regain normality. They were described by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler Ross. These phases are as follows:

    1. Denial

    In this first phase of shock, the person denies the loss. The emotional impact is so great that the person is not yet ready to face the situation. Therefore, denial is set in motion as a defense mechanism.

    2. Anger or anger

    During this stage, the most present emotions are anger, rage and anger. The person tries to find the culprits in order to find an explanation for the death.

    3. Negotiation

    This stage usually appears before death. The person has a false sense of control over the situation and tries to implement strategies so that the fatal outcome does not occur.. It is generally intended to make agreements with the divine. This phase is generally the shortest.

    4. Depression

    Once we realize that there is nothing we can do and realize the reality of the loss, an enormous sadness and a feeling of emptiness invade us.

    5. Acceptance

    When we reach this stage, we are able to accept the loss of a loved one. It’s not about forgetting it, it’s about reinstalling it in our lives so that we can move on..

    It is important to note that not everyone goes through all the phases or in the same order, each person needs their time to solve each one. Once the person has gone through and passed the different phases, we can conclude that they have reached the end of the process.

      Elaboration duel against the coronavirus

      As we have already mentioned, the virus is what sets the rules for support, farewells and vigils. Under these circumstances, it is possible that some of the phases of the duel are blocked or prolonged more than usual, and may (or may not) lead to a complicated duel.

      Another characteristic of this situation is that the grieving process begins before the death itself, not being able to visit or accompany the patient during quarantine, hospitalization, etc. The pain of losing a loved one will always be there, whether or not we are close to the loved one. The sensation of pain is implicit in these types of situations.

      What to do?

      The basic goal of the grieving process is always the same: to avoid the psychological consequences of not saying goodbye well. To do this, we will consider the following guidelines.

      1. Take advantage of forms of distance communication

      In many hospitals in Spain the use of tablets and mobile phones is implemented to promote contact between the patient and his relatives. This can be of great help in a future farewell with the patient. Although we cannot do this in person, we will share with our loved ones the pain and suffering we are going through. Through virtual encounters, we can share our feelings, remember the deceased person and recall the special moments we had with them.

      2. Don’t stop doing farewell rituals

      Vespers, funerals, and other rituals are important in being able to say goodbye to a loved one and begin the grieving process. In this case, we cannot do it at the time of death, but if we can postpone it until we can do it. The fact that more time has passed than normal does not imply that NMO makes sense to do these farewell rituals..

      3. Encourage emotional expression despite the situation and restrictions.

      We can help each other by writing, writing a letter to the deceased, or using pictures and objects to remember loved ones. It is important not to blame him for not having accompanied him at this time and know that we have been by its side throughout its life cycle.

      We will try to avoid thinking about the conditions and how he died. The medical staff took care of him, accompanied him and it is possible that the patient was sedated and not in pain.

      A grieving process takes time. We are going to feel sad, but we have to move on, keep doing things and keep on living. We need to try to find a balance between crying for our loved one and moving on with our lives.


      In this exceptional and difficult situation that we are going through, many circumstances are changing. As we have seen throughout this article, one of them is the duel, which is postponed until we find normality.

      Working out the duel, even if it is postponed, is very important in overcoming the loss. Therefore, it is advisable to take the necessary steps that we have described to move forward in the process. If you need any help along the way, you can contact us through this link.

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