Many coping with collective grief throughout pandemic, Dr. Josh explains

Updated: Feb. 3, 2021 at 10:19 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The loss of almost 8,000 Alabamians to COVID-19 and thousands more across the country is a lot to handle, and experts say grieving so many people makes it even harder.

Even if it’s not someone you knew directly, Dr. Josh says you can be experiencing grief all the same.

This week, the community was rocked by the death of Jefferson County father Alfoniza Jackson, just 35.

Dr. Josh explains that a loss like Jackson’s resonates with many people, fathers, daughters, wives... because they see themselves.

“It reminds us of somebody we know, and that’s all it takes for us to find that connection,” said Klapow.

That connection is real, and so are the emotions that come from it.

“We should and will feel sad and blue, we will have periods where we are overcome by emotion,” he explained.

He gives the example of Kobe Bryant’s daughter Gianna -- her loss transcended the sports world.

“They felt a connection because they had a daughter, and that’s what’s happening to us right now,” said Klapow.

The pandemic exacerbates collective trauma -- that grief is ongoing.

“That’s why people are going to have a hard time, because just as you’re bouncing back from a loss or grief, there’s another story.”

He says even though it’s painful -- acknowledging that pain is better than pushing it away entirely.

Dr. Josh recommends talking about grief with friends and family, because he says more people are collectively grieving than we may realize.

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