Exploring perceptions of family loss and grief due to coronavirus 2019

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The stressors of the pandemic have affected everyone. Many people have had limited to no outlet to talk about what they are feeling or going through, and they are internalizing, which can lead to conflict. People must be able to identify what they are feeling, have appropriate coping skills to respond, and have access to the tools necessary to help themselves and their family members through the grief process. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of family loss and grief due to the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic. This qualitative study was conducted through the lens of the family systems theory. Two research questions guided this study: (1) What are family members’ lived experiences of loss and grief during the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic? and (2) What methods, tools, or strategies did families use to help them process their loss and grief? Individual interviews were conducted with ten participants. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed to generate six themes. Two themes came from the first research question: various types of losses were experienced by families and the losses impacted families in multiple ways. The second research question yielded four themes: culture impacted the way families processed grief, obstacles and hurdles affected the grief process of families, diverse methods and strategies were used to cope with loss, and recommendations for grief education/call to action. The theoretical application, strengths, limitations, future research, and implications for policy and practice were also discussed.

Coronavirus, Loss, Grief, Family, Coping