Loss of lifestyle linked to coronavirus coined "pandemic grief"

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Grieving the change in lifestyle linked to the coronavirus now has a name. It's called 'pandemic grief.' Whether it's having lost a loved one or a canceled graduation ceremony, people have felt upset linked to the same event.

Wraquel Spencer founded Forget You Not, dedicated to helping people suffering from loss. Spencer said grief is not only caused by death but rather losing something important in life. She said it's normal to grieve losing something important in one's own life and warns people not to compare their feelings to others.

"It's not just affecting individual loss, this is the world grieving, this is our communities grieving and it is from this pandemic," said Spencer. "A loss is a loss, sometimes our bodies can't tell the difference. It's hard for me to say well you just lost a job, I just lost my mother. It's hard for me to say my grief is worse than your grief because it's the way that person interprets it or the way they receive it or the way they process it. We can't say no one grief is better or worse than the other. We have to respect people's pains and the way they process it and be a support for them who are going through it."

Spencer said self-care is especially important during times of grief.

If you're considering suicide or harming yourself the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (800) 273-8255. Spencer can be reached at (865) 208-3004