Grief is the physical or mental suffering experienced after a major loss, usually the death of a loved one. It is a universal experience, but sociocultural factors, such as cultural or ethnic identity and religious beliefs predict and shape the expression of grief. The circumstances under which people are experiencing grief during the coronavirus outbreak have adversely affected the grieving process. Unexpected deaths, social distancing rules and visitor restrictions in healthcare facilities have posed a heavier burden on the loss and have heightened the risk of grievers experiencing complicated or persistent grief. This concern led us, as early career psychiatrists (ECPs) from 14 different countries connected by the Early Career Psychiatrists Section of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), to share our country-specific experiences on the mourning, grief tradition, and burial rites during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we discuss our experiences, similarities and differences with relation to the: ‘Effect of the pandemic on mourning’, ‘Restrictions and Guideline on burial rites due to the pandemic’, ‘Effect of the pandemic on social support’ and ‘Role of media and telecommunication on mourning practices and burial rites’. We conclude that while telecommunication means have attempted to bridge the gap and provide some form of social connectedness, the total and global effect of the pandemic is yet to be fully seen and understood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health