"What Our Friends Left Behind"
COVID has challenged all of us to examine our attitudes toward grief. While families receive most of the consideration, the friends left behind also struggle.
A resource by Victoria Noe
COVID has challenged all of us to examine our attitudes toward grief. While families receive most of the consideration, the friends left behind also struggle. How do you grieve the loss of your friends, when traditions are restricted by a worldwide pandemic? How do you make sense of personal loss when it seems like the whole world is grieving? And how do you ensure that your friends are not forgotten?
Based on my award-winning Friend Grief books, this interactive presentation will celebrate our friendships and share meaningful ways to honor the friends who shaped our lives.
When COVID started I did not intent to write another book about friend grief. I resisted it because of the emotional toll of writing the other books. I knew I'd lose a friend; maybe a few. But I assumed the ones who died would all die from the virus, when in fact, only one of the fourteen did. The others died from 'normal' things: various cancers, ALS, kidney disease, heart attack. The restrictions imposed, which severely limited hospital visits and funeral attendance for family members, affected all of us. And shut out friends completely. I found, too, that my experiences in the HIV/AIDS community informed my response to COVID. A lot of that trauma was triggered, but it also provided me with examples of resilience: of people who stepped up to comfort, to support and to honor their friends. And they did it by creating new rituals, out of necessity. Because I'm not alone in my experiences, I decided to reach out to others, to share stories of how they have grieved and honored their friends during COVID. My book - What Our Friends Left Behind: Grief and Laughter in a Pandemic - is a collection of those stories and an examination of the life-altering power of friendship. This presentation is based on that.