The stinging wound of grief is always hard to bear, but in this new Covid-19 world things have become ever more complicated and, in relation to bereavement and loss, ever more painful. We know that loved ones are unable to be present at the moment of death, and mourners are denied even that most basic ritual of a wake. Funerals themselves have been curtailed with families having to make heart-breaking decisions about who will be able to attend. In this way mourners feel separated from their loved ones. At best they are bystanders at a short graveyard service.
All this is understandable, wise even, given the potency of Covid 19 and the ensuing restrictions. The emotional cost, though, is very high. People are deprived of key rituals, symbols and gestures of grieving that are crucial to good coping and avoiding later trauma. There is often numbness and detachment with people struggling to believe that it has really happened.
How can we bring insight from a faith perspective to such a difficult situation?