Depression: Loss and Grief in the Time of Corona
This Conversation guide is part of a six-guide series exploring our experience during the pandemic. Resources that may be helpful in understanding the grief experience include this Harvard Business Review article.
Grief happens when people experience death or other significant losses. Decades ago, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described five responses to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Depression is a state of being that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest that can interfere with your daily functioning. Depression and sadness, often coupled with a sense of immobility and fatigue, are sometimes identified as hallmarks of loss and grief. As with other responses to loss, we may experience depression as occurring more deeply and more easily in the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic. What is your experience?
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Depression: Loss and Grief in the Time of Corona (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- What have you noticed about your feelings and behavior during this time? What emotions have been most uncomfortable? What has surprised you?
- Where are you seeing depression in yourself? In your friends and family? In your community?
- Have you noticed changes in your energy levels these days? If so, what is happening? What is that like for you?
- What thought and emotional patterns are you noticing in your daily life? What are you missing the most? What changes are most difficult
- What have you learned about depression and sadness during this time?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?