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Amy (name changed to protect privacy) experienced loss when her close relative passed away during the movement control order (MCO).
Funerals are meant to be a final send-off of one’s life and give closure to those still living. Yet in the case of Amy’s aunt, her burial was a hurried and lonely affair.
The movement control order extends to funerals as well, so friends and extended family were restricted from travelling to pay their final respects.
It’s harder for me personally because the restriction felt like it made my aunt ‘dispensable’ or like her life ‘didn’t matter’. My aunt’s life became ‘just another dead person’.Amy to TRP
Amy’s family were unable to hold a cremation for her aunt because there was no time slot available for it. Instead, the body was left in the coffin for almost another day before she was quickly buried.
The lack of a proper funeral also meant that her aunt’s family and friends could not pay their last respects and honour her life.
While Amy understands that the MCO is for the greater good, she still feels a sense of injustice over the way her aunt’s passing was handled.
It feels like the MCO robbed us of our proper, last respect to my aunt and we’ll always have to live with this as it becomes one of those things we can never make up for, ever.Amy to TRP
Dr Brandon Lim, a doctor in Psychiatry at the University Malaya Medical Centre, notes that those who experience loss during this time must be allowed to grieve.
Grief is important. Any loss of a loved one in itself requires time and eventual acceptance of the loss.
For those dealing with grief, surrounding yourself with adequate support groups is highly recommended. Your family, friends, or even strangers on the internet can help to support you during this time. This support can help you feel understood and not alone in your struggle.
In regards to losses during the MCO or assuming the death is due to complications of Covid-19, death can feel extremely lonely. While the MCO has made funerals difficult, the best closure for grief is still acceptance.
Acknowledge that grief is truly a difficult thing to endure. Never give up, for the battle to betterment ends once we do.Dr Brandon Lim to TRP
Understanding and accepting the situation is crucial. Recognising that the MCO is in place for a more noble reason can comfort us during the quietness of death.
Despite that, if you are in need of support, get in touch with psychologists hosting online counseling services, contact mental health services such as Befrienders, or the government’s Covid-19 crisis hotline Talian Kasih.
At the same time, try to practice self-soothing techniques at home. Self-soothing looks different for individuals, but general unwinding techniques include meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, exercise, or even prayers.
Check out our list of mental health services here.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.