School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
Jackie T. Craft
Bereavement, Burial, COVID-19, Grief, Death, Funerals, Mourning, Phenomenology, Rituals
Stroman, Shelia Renee, "Bereavement in Isolation During COVID-19 Pandemic" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3816.
The COVID-19 pandemic with the protocols of social distance, isolation, and quarantine changed the practices associated with traditional funerals and rituals. The purpose of this phenomenology study was to understand the lived experience of individuals that process bereavement in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is a new phenomenon; the research questions will guide this study to understand the lived experience of individuals that process bereavement in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research questions were (1) What are the experiences of those that processed death without rituals or traditions during COVID-19, and (2) How has COVID-19 transformed and intensified the grieving process? The participants were given a complicated grief survey to fill out before the interview. The participants must have lost a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic. The death did not have to be COVID-related. There were eleven participants in this study, three men and eight females. The 18 years or older participated in eleven questions semi-structured interviews. The study concluded that COVID-19 had an impact on the bereavement and grieving process during the pandemic. With the strict protocols and restrictions mandated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal, state, and local authorities, the opportunity to engage in traditional funerals or burial rituals was absent. All the participants commented that the nonexistent in-person activities, cancellation of events, limited visitation, and gatherings surrounding the death and dying left their bereavement process incomplete. This study illuminated the essential nature of human presence and involvement in traditional rituals and death processes as a healthy and prosperous bereavement process.