Why it’s okay to grieve the ‘small things’ right now

Mourning small losses during the coronavirus pandemic
Mourning small losses during the coronavirus pandemic

HOUSTON – By now, we’re used to large gatherings being canceled.

It’s become a habit for some people to dismiss cancellations as “no big deal” because in comparison to someone, say, fighting on the front line or losing their job or fighting for their lives with COVID-19, it might not sound very significant.

However, local therapist Ceci Hudson Torn with Ethos Behavioral Group warns against dismissing those small losses.

“[We] dismiss these others losses as if they don’t matter,” she said.

For example, all the high school senior rights of passage events they looked forward to all of high school (prom, senior pranks, parades) or the families not meeting new babies at the hospital or practicing all season only to have the final performance canceled.

Hudson Torn said these are losses that need to be worked through just like the many other things coronavirus has taken.

“As a mental health professional, I worry that the stacking of these small losses and just dismissing them as if we’re fine... can be something that we can carry and can cause distress for us,” she said.

To prevent long term agony over a small loss, Hudson Torn recommends you:

  • Identify the loss now and recognize the disappointment.
  • Talk about it.
  • Come up with creative ways to celebrate the missed events.