Hope in the Midst of Grief

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The past year and the effects of COVID-19 on the world has been difficult for all of us. We are continually faced with challenges, change, and loss. Many would describe it as the worst year of their lives, and with that comes a sense of grief. Yet in the midst of our collective grief we can now see a glimpse of hope.

Grief comes in many forms. We mourn when a loved one dies, and across the globe the death toll has been devastating. That grief was often compounded by the inability to travel or gather together for a memorial service. Those who contract COVID-19 and survive it may now find that they are grieving the loss of their health due to the long-term effects of the virus.

There has also been a financial impact, and many are now grieving the loss of financial stability due to job loss. Countless businesses were forced to cease operations due to low revenues. With that also comes a loss of a sense of community.

Community. Another loss we have endured is the loss of our sense of community and ability to interact freely with others. The impact of that loss is often understated. It is a natural part of the human condition to wish to socialize, to be connected, to participate. Yet COVID-19 has forced us to isolate in our homes, to forgo the gatherings and events. We may be more physically safe, but we are less protected emotionally. Ironically, the very thing that could bolster us to face the great hardships of this past year could also put us even more at risk.

So we stay at home in our bubble and talk to one another on screens. As time passes the group Zoom calls happen less frequently. Lethargy begins to set in, as everything feels the same day after day, and it starts to feel less important to reach out.

After a year of changed social systems the isolation has begun to take a huge toll on our collective consciousness. Depression rates are high. Many people are turning to self-destructive methods to try and dull the pain. People are desperate. There is grief.

We are grieving who we used to be not only as an individual, but also as a part of a community. We grieve for the loss of the social systems that used to define us and be our support system. We grieve for how the world used to be. We wonder if it will ever go back to the way things were. We wonder if this will ever end, or if we will ever feel safe again.

Whatever we are feeling, whatever losses have occurred, it is important to acknowledge and work thorough those complicated emotions. There are healing ways that we can try to cope and recover. Reach out to a counselor or talk to a spiritual advisor. Take up a new hobby. Adopt a pet. Go for a walk outside to improve physical health and get some endorphins running through our veins. Every effort, no matter how small, is a way of improving and taking back some of the power that we feel that we have lost. It is a way of finding hope.

Another glimmer of hope has presented itself through the arrival of the vaccine for COVID-19. For many it signifies the beginning of change, the start of a fight back against this devastating virus. Those who receive it have often described feeling overwhelmed with emotion. Tears of joy and relief. Tears of grief for those who died before they were able to receive protection.

We were pleased that we were able to arrange for the employees of Morrissett Funeral & Cremation service to be inoculated against COVID-19. Funeral home employees are recognized as part of Group 1A Healthcare Personnel in Virginia. It was important that our staff be protected due to the nature of the services we provide. This also in turn protects the families that we serve. It has given us a greater sense of security, as well as a sense of hope that things are starting to get better.

There are many others who share that same hope. That after a year of darkness and loss there is a glimmer of light in the distance. A hope for change, and to possibly regain some of what was lost. To be able to soon rejoin the world that we have felt so detached from for so long.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote: “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”

We believe that change is coming. So we wait for the light as we hold on to each other. And hold on to hope.


Morrissett Funeral & Cremation Service

6500 Iron Bridge Rd.

Richmond, VA 23234

(804) 275-7828


Written by Jennifer Roberts Bittner, Certified Celebrant & Life Tribute Specialist    


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