Health Matters

Grief and COVID-19

Guest: Professor Bill Elder, Ph.D.

Having strong emotions about COVID-19? Or maybe you don’t believe in it. Perhaps you are grieving.

Professor Bill Elder, clinical psychologist and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Houston College of Medicine has some advice.

“All of us are experiencing loss during this pandemic –loved ones, jobs, contact and control. This has led to individual and collective grief. Understanding its emotional process or the five stages of grief, will help.”

First is Denial, we don't believe what is happening. Next is Anger about the loss. Bargaining is unhealthy coping and made-up explanations. Sadness as the loss sinks in is compounded by our disconnection. Acceptance comes as we honor what was lost by reflecting on its meaning.”

“Here are some ways to process your grief:

  • Don't ignore your emotions.
  • Realize this process takes time.
  • Share with good listeners.”

“This is a time for compassion–for others struggling with grief and ourselves, as we find our way.”

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