I feel it and now I’m saying it – we are bereaved. Yes, in my chosen self-isolation in Melbourne I’m waving goodbye to long-held, basic expectations around: 

  • expressing and receiving care with physical touch.
  • work and meetings with colleagues and clients regularly.
  • socialising wherever I like.

Shock and relationships

It’d be hard to catalogue how my expectations and worldview have foundered. I’m dealing with the shock of it all.

As at any time of bereavement and loss, it’s an intense time of gathering with close people. Like I say in my book, Death, a love project, relationships and individuals can be delicate. There’s quite some variability about how people react in stressful circumstances. This makes it a time for careful communication.

Telling symptoms. 

Feeling sad and at a loss? I am. I’ve seen many on social media saying that they’re tired. Or that they can’t concentrate or are very easily distracted. I’ve found I’m clumsier than usual. And like so many, my sleep isn’t great. 

Taking care

With so much important information sharing on social media think about your use. Can you firmly cap it, and limit being on devices in this way at home, especially after eight at night?

Eating well can be very enjoyable. Try not to combine with device use. Make a ritual of lighting a candle when it’s time to eat.

Meditation and other grounding practices. Many sites and apps are available. I’d say that if you do meditate, don’t expect to settle for a little. It’s been uniquely stressful. Give yourself five, ten or even fifteen minutes for your body/mind to begin to harmonise. Try meditating with your eyes cast down, softly open, not focused on any particular object. Closed eyes can turn attention inwards on to compelling mental proliferation.

Not sleeping? Again plenty of apps and sites. Yoga nidra is an old favourite for good reason. Get back in that body! Jennifer Piercey on InsightTimer has been recommended to me – I like her allowing approach. Have you ever tried softly rubbing your heart or massaging your tummy? Can be good.

It’s been less than a week of this huge shift in expectations. I’m trying to cut myself some slack. That’s what I’d suggest to anyone who’s bereaved. There is so much change to process, so much to try and make sense of.