Responding to grief and loss in the context of COVID-19: A story from India — Maya Sen with Anwesha


For many, COVID-19 disrupted practices of end-of-life care and made it impossible to carry out rituals of mourning and acknowledgement after the death of a loved one. This paper describes a series of conversations with a woman who was plagued by guilt after not being able to give her aunt ‘a proper send-off’. It offers questions that were useful in shifting our conversations from individual self-blame to the shared social context of the pandemic. It considers ideas about a ‘good death’ and suggests ways to invite exploration of alternative ways to honour loved ones who have died. This paper is accompanied by responses from narrative practitioners in Rwanda and India.