Coping With Grief During COVID-19

Jun 8, 2020

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
Credit Vanessa Miller

COVID-19 has complicated many aspects of life, including death.


A new program at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan will help people get through the loss of loved ones to the pandemic. Vanessa Miller is the agency's grief and loss group facilitator.

"Family members may not have been able to say goodbye to their loved ones or have a funeral for them. These very basic rituals bring closure and they're just not there with deaths from COVID-19."

Two virtual groups will help people grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19. Miller says healing happens when those grieving get together to talk about their loss.

"We want to be able to bring people together who have had these unique grieving experiences and help address these issues, as well as offer general grief education."

Miller says that includes sharing stories about those who have died.

"You know, who was your person? Who was the person who died; what were they like? They get to share stories and pictures. And, that's very therapeutic to have a space to specifically talk about your loved one."

Miller says people who are grieving may not get the support they'd otherwise get from family and friends because of the pandemic.

"Because we're distracted with, you know, 'I need a mask and I need to check my symptoms.' But, your friend is saying, 'My spouse just died. Check on me too.'"

There are separate groups for people between the age of 19 and 30, and for those 31 and older. But there are only ten slots available in each. Both start on Monday, June 15. Get more information and sign-up by emailing Vanessa.Miller (at) hospiceswmi.org.