Investigation into Grief Experiences of the Bereaved During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The objective of the current study was to investigate the grief experiences of people affected by COVID-19. The study adopted a qualitative design of descriptive phenomenology. Fifteen adults who had lost a family member during the COVID-19 pandemic were selected as the sample through the purposive sampling method until theoretical saturation was achieved. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and the Colaizzi analysis method. Six main themes (i.e., unexpressed grief, psychosomatic reactions, negative emotions, family problems, and social and occupational problems) were extracted.


Data analysis showed that complex disenfranchised grief is the pervasive consequence of the COVID-19 experience. According to the findings, participants experienced disenfranchised grief during the loss of their loved ones due to the COVID-19 disease, which was a complex, painful experience accompanied by negative emotions and family, work, and social tensions. This grief is accompanied by more severe and prolonged symptoms, making it difficult for the bereaved to return to normal life. In unexpressed grieving, there are intense feelings of grief, pain, separation, despair, emptiness, low self-esteem, bitterness, or longing for the presence of the deceased. This grief originated from the conditions of quarantine and physical distance on the one hand, which required the control of the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, and on the other hand, the cultural-religious context of the Iranian people.


Mohammad Asgari, Mahdi Ghasemzadeh, Asgar Alimohamadi, Shiva Sakhaei, Clare Killikelly, and Elham Nikfar | 2023
In: OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying ; ISSN: 0030-2228
Online ahead of print doi: 10.1177/00302228231173075
Adults, Bereavement, COVID-19 (en), Epidemics, Iranians, Isolation, Self Esteem