Addressing different forms of grief during COVID-19 crisis

LANSING, MI (WILX) - Ele's Place is used to helping children deal with their losses in-person, but now under the Shelter-In-Place order, they are working to find ways to continue the healing process virtually.

"After someone experiences the death of someone, we think of it being the worst thing of our life and then to add these additional stressors that are going on in our world on top of it, it creates an increased amount of fear," said Kelly Koerner, of Ele's Place.

That's why the organization is providing support online for children to express their grief and anxiety during this tough time.

"We are doing our best to send out weekly emails to families including activities that they can do together," said Koerner. "We will also be available by phone and online. "

Koerner and other therapists say that grief can come from smaller losses too.

"We are all losing out on events, maybe a vacation, or graduation or you might wake up and realize 'I had my friends birthday coming up and we were going to do this party for them, but we can't do that anymore," said Annie Giupponi LMSW PMH-C, a therapist through Rooted Counseling. "These are day-to-day things that are still a loss to us."

And therapists tell News 10 that it's important that both children and adults address these types of grief.

"Yes, there might be people who have it worse, but your pain is still valid and is still real and still present, so we encourage people to name what they are feeling and check in with themselves," Giupponi.

In times of these uncertainties, therapists say you can deal with grief by even adjusting your plans.

"You can find someplace for alternate meaning making," said Sarah Tomakich, a therapist through Spring Forest Counseling. "Still plan something that we can be excited about, but also honor that time that we missed something that we were looking forward too."

The therapists also say you can deal with grief by talking with others, keeping a journal or even signing up for telehealth therapy session.

For resources for Ele's Place, click here.

For information on Rooted Counseling, click here.

For details on Spring Forest Counseling, click here.