The COVID crisis throws into relief what happens when grief has—quite literally—nowhere to go. The evidence suggests that most people summon strengths that surpass their own expectations.
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My mom died nearly a week ago, and we had no funeral. We went with direct cremation. We may or may not have a memorial service in the spring.
I'm having the opposite of being overran with people--a lack of support. No one is calling, visiting, sending cards/flowers, or bringing food. More than 40 people said they're sorry on Facebook, but that's hardly the same as a personal call or visit.
Oddly, it seems that most were more supportive during the weeks that my mother was dying. A couple of relatives and I were in touch every day.
But one of them, my cousin, wasn't there for me on the day of my mom's death or after. He knew she was at the end as I told him, but he chose to go to a football game out of town. I texted him after my mom died to let him know and asked him to call his dad--my mom's brother. Hours later, I called my uncle only to learn that my cousin hadn't told him the news.
It hurt to see my cousin's FB posts about what a great day he'd had on the day my mom died. Since my mom's death, he has been strangely silent.
Another cousin just kept sending me text messages about her own mother's death 12 years ago, making it all about her.
My son took three days off of work for bereavement and only visited me on one of those days.
When I wanted to talk to a niece about my feelings, she said she "didn't want to be sucked into that kind of negativity."
Luckily, I have a great book on grieving for a mother that has helped me get through this horrible time. Right now, I'm writing out my memories of my mother chronologically, which is helping me considerably. I get to express myself honestly without worrying about what anyone else thinks, and I've found new reasons to love and appreciate my mom.
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