Filling the void: Grieving and healing during a socially isolating global pandemic
School of Communication and Media
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered life dramatically, including grieving practices. This study examines how people grieved death when they were unable to engage in traditional mourning rituals. Participants shared ways their experiences with grief were affected by the pandemic through themes of (1) physical isolation, including feeling together while apart, and, (2) challenges to grief management, like lack of nonverbal communication and feeling delegitimized. Participants also spoke of memorable messages deemed helpful or hurtful, including (1) emphasizing the death over the loss, (2) community, and (3) faith and advice. The findings yield implications regarding the nature of communal coping, flexibility to grieving practices, and disenfranchised grief during a global pandemic.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)