“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison

The Covid-19 pandemic has united the world in grief for sure. In Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss, authors Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler explained the five stages of grief.

  1. The first stage, denial deals with bereavement and the feeling of disbelief for what has happened.
  2. Bargaining is known as the trade-off stage. During this stage, the individuals tend to make a deal with fate to gain more moments of time with the loved one they’re losing or have lost.
  3. In the anger stage, individuals find something or someone to place blame. In this stage, questions of fairness arise.
  4. The sadness stage sends individuals into deep depression and helplessness. This is a serious and critical stage when suicidal thoughts enter some people’s minds.
  5. Finally, acceptance is the stage in which individuals feel a sense of understanding and the ability to continue through their grief journey.

The stages of grief could be applied to any significant feeling of personal loss, not just death of a loved one. They could also experience grief over loss of a job, a business, a relationship, anticipating one’s own death, or similar experiences. And this is exactly what the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to all of us.

With the arrival of vaccines this year, there is light at the end of the tunnel. But we must not expect to live the life as we know it before March 2020. COVID-19 has changed the world and it has changed us. In the midst of the hardship and challenges, many people have learned to evaluate their lives and focus on what’s truly important.

The three most important lessons I learned in 2020 are first, to feel grateful and appreciate the gifts life gives us every day because we just don’t know when they’ll be taken away.

Second, life is unpredictable. Instead of worrying about what might happen tomorrow, we should focus more on the present and live in the here and now. Today is all we have so, make every moment count.

Third, our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Having depression or a mental health disorder is not taboo. It’s real, and it’s normal. I hope that this pandemic will bring to light the need to have regular mental-health checks and care. Happy New Year!

Best of health,

Romy Sia

[email protected]