Grief Without Touch and Inability to Share the Pain in Pandemic

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Centar za napredne studije

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Death is one of the most difficult experiences in interpersonal relationships. The loss of a beloved one indeed causes grief and mourning. The aim of this study is to explore traumatic grief experiences together at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. A traumatic loss adds another layer to the experience of mourning and grief while making this experience more difficult to cope with. The sudden or unexpected occurrence of a loss or as a result of a disease can also be linked to how it is described traumatic. The mourning process is one of the most difficult traumatic experiences to talk about. Feeling the grief at home and without physical contact makes this experience even more challenging. As the world is facing with an unprecedented kind of pandemic, the relatives of the people losing their lives during this period are not only confronting a sudden death but also changing practices of funeral rituals. The fact that funeral rituals cannot be done by observing religious and traditional rules as in the previous periods due to the contagious nature of the COVID-19 people cannot share their grief and sufferings with their beloved ones. Furthermore, failure to perform funeral rituals including funeral ceremonies, condolences and farewells observed at the places of worship at mosques, churches, synagogues or cemevis due to their closure has had and will continue to have severe psychological consequences. It should be kept in mind that mourning and grief experienced after the loss of a beloved one during the COVID-19 pandemic does not change the uniqueness of this experience and the intense feelings that individuals encounter. Accordingly, autoethnographic storytelling method based on the uniqueness of the experience is a very useful method to make sense of this process, and to conduct research on this subject. Through online meetings by using this method, this research is based on the experiences of a participant who lost a beloved one due to the complications of the COVID-19 together with other members of the group. These individuals explained their loss and mourning experiences, and particularly how they experience the mourning process without physical contact during the pandemic. The evaluations made over these experiences demonstrate the significance of physical contact, the chance to say goodbye to the person died and funeral rituals. Keywords: Death, mourning, traumatic grief, Covid-19, autoethnography


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Women and Covid-19 Pandemic - Psychosocial Challenges and Opportunities

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