Credits: Losing a loved one is never easy. But you can take charge and heal yourself with yoga, meditation, exercise and diet, says Ira Trivedi, author, columnist and yoga acharya

Love, yoga and sound of silence to help the Corona bereaved live life again

People have fallen like a pack of cards during this Corona pandemic, in particular, the second wave. How does one deal with grief and loss of a loved one and heal oneself

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

Today it may be difficult to find anyone in India who has not experienced grief at some level-the death of someone in the personal, social, professional network in these last eighteen months. Whether it’s the loss of an immediate family member, or a friend, a colleague, a neighbour- the morale of people is perhaps at an all-time low witnessing untimely death and seeing negative news being played out, day in and day out.

When the loss is at a personal level, it hits you the most. After all, losing somebody close to you, who held the fabric of your life together, can be a traumatic experience. You need to almost start from scratch, at least in your headspace, and restructure and reorganize your life. It’s a process with no timeline and each of us will experience it differently.

How does one cope with grief and deal with loss? According to eminent Psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh, Director of Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, “I think it’s very important to understand that grief is a very personal experience. Each individual’s understanding, processing, resolution, reaction, impact of grief is going to be a very individual kind of a reaction. There can’t be tips on how to deal with it or a uniform set of to-dos. For many of us, it will initially bring a sense of denial or numbing kind of feeling and gradually we start seeing things as they are and start understanding them. We may even have mood fluctuation. It takes time for us to accept the situation and to come back to life, our responsibilities and loved ones. I think the key in resolving the grief lies in our support systems, friends, family, colleagues- so that the individual does not feel that I am in this all by myself. That is the key in coping with grief.”

Most people will experience the five stages of grief but the intensity may vary with each individual – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance during their grieving process. Often these emotions don’t come in a flat linear path and you may find yourself swinging from one emotion to another. However, sitting with these feelings and not pushing them aside, rather acknowledging them is the first step.

Allowing yourself time to heal from the loss is important. It is also fine to cry if you feel overwhelmed. Leaning for help and support from your loved ones can prove immensely beneficial too. Try to establish a daily routine and pace yourself back into normal life as soon as you feel confident. However, if one finds it difficult to resume their daily life or continues to feel emotionally overwhelmed or just needs to talk about the loss then one should reach out for professional aid immediately.”

Is there a healthy way to grieve? According to Dr Kedar Tilwe, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund & Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, “Allowing yourself time to heal from the loss is important. It is also fine to cry if you feel overwhelmed. Leaning for help and support from your loved ones can prove immensely beneficial too. Try to establish a daily routine and pace yourself back into normal life as soon as you feel confident. However, if one finds it difficult to resume their daily life or continues to feel emotionally overwhelmed or just needs to talk about the loss then one should reach out for professional aid immediately.”

Grief is A Choice

The emotion of grief is also a choice that you make. According to BK Shivani, Senior Rajyoga teacher, spiritual guide and mentor, “Grief is an optional emotion that you create.” Is there an alternate emotion? “Yes, even at the time of losing someone, you can be calm and stable; you can be the power and the pillar of the house, taking charge of everybody and empowering others, while also understanding the reality of life and trying to accept it.”

She advises that there are two things we need to separate – one is the person leaving, and the other is, my life without that person. We are more concerned about “our pain” rather than the person. So, when we are thinking only about our pain, our vacuum, our life then it’s very normal to grieve, to cry. But the moment we start thinking about the one who has left, we will behave differently. Create the right thought in your mind. Instead of saying why did you go away so early, change the thought to gratitude for the time you were with us. Fill your house with purity and positivity – have high energy words playing in your house constantly throughout the day specially in the kitchen. In a house where there is grief, the food absorbs all that pain. The food and water energy affects our mind. We are what we eat- when there is pain and then we eat food of pain, we are caught in a vicious cycle.

Energise your mind and feed it with good thoughts. BK Shivani strongly recommends that you must watch, read, and listen to something which is very pure and powerful. It’s like you are unwell, don’t just sit unwell, take charge and heal your mind. The sooner you allow the house to be normal – the sooner the minds will get healed. At this time, if we can pray, meditate, have bhajans at home – generate a lot of purity and positivity through high vibrational energy which will give peace and calm to the soul which has lost everything, it helps the soul to move forward and also helps in healing us.

Invest in Healing Therapies

Music, meditation, chanting, deep levels of silence, breathing, mindfulness sessions- all these help a great deal in coping with grief. There are a list of apps and websites for emotional and mental wellbeing such as Let’s Meditate, Wysa, PinkyMind, YourDost, Mindhouse, Now&Me,, Buddhify, Evergreen Club. You can also attend some classes conducted by The Art of Living, Isha Foundation, Deepak Chopra Foundation and Brahma Kumaris on spiritual and holistic healing.

If you have never done any of this before, just by practising a little bit of silence everyday, you can begin your journey. Spirituality is at the heart of India and the whole world has learnt it from our great country, says Rajan Navani, Founder of app, which comes with an extensive library of self-care and self-healing programs. It’s not just subscriptions that have gone up at these apps but also engagement. Says Navani, “People spending 10-12 minutes earlier are now spending at least 20 minutes on an average. Our endeavour is to change the seed, the thought. All our education never taught us that the source of all our actions is thought. We were always told- never speak lies and the thrust was always on speech and action. But even before you speak lies, what you need to tackle is the idea or thought to speak lies. We believe that if you can go to that very source of thought and be able to manage that, it will bring about a radical transformation in your life. We have a library of meditation, mindfulness, and an emotional tracker that will allow us to not only survive but also thrive in the post covid wave.”

In case you are not able to resolve your grief for a long time, you can seek professional help. Says Deekshaa Athwani, Clinical Psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, “Bereavement therapy is ideal for anyone experiencing grief related to the loss of a loved one. Your therapist will help you with getting in touch with your feelings, accepting the loss, working through guilt if there is any and more. The number of sessions can be discussed with your therapist. It usually depends on what you and your therapist feel you need.” The goal of bereavement intervention is to facilitate the grieving process. There are listening circles, self – help groups and bereavement support groups that aid the bereaved person along with individual therapy. The fee charged by the psychologist and the psychiatrist may range from Rs 1,000- 2,500 per session.

Condolence Meeting

What are the things one should never ask or say or mention when mourning someone bereaved? Don’t try to take out information as to when, where, what, how it happened as these are unhelpful questions to ask at that point of time. The best thing you can say at such times is “I am here. I can’t imagine what you are going through.” It’s always better to ask the bereaved family exactly what they need rather than assuming anything.

Says Dr Kedar Tilwe, “Attaching blame or repeatedly discussing events which lead up to the loved one’s demise with the intention of finding fault should be avoided. One should also not force the person to rush back into feeling ‘normal’ or resuming all their work until they feel ready to do so. Be there for the person in their time of grief, helping them handle the immediate aftermath of the situation and enabling them to come to terms with their new reality by sharing experiences of their loved ones. If required, one could need to gently guide the grieving person to seek professional help or grief counselling.”

Also be mindful of death etiquette such as dress appropriately (not be under or overdressed), don’t chew gum, ensure that your mic is off if it’s a virtual condolence meet, speech needs to be short and relevant and never scroll the phone or be whatsapping in such solemn occasions.

Collective Grief

How can we heal as a society? During this time everybody is impacted in one way or the other. People have gone through their anxieties and their distress. And that’s where, in my opinion, the solution, which means everybody, says Psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh. Everybody needs to come together to also change the narrative – from despair and negativity to find some hope, some resilience for each other, help each other find their moments of positivity, their moments of taking care of each other. It’s important to share inspiration and how people were helped by others – I think that’s going to collectively help the mental status of the entire society.”

People have been reeling under different types of guilt. Says Delhi based banker Tejinder Bawa, who went to office till financial year closing and in his own words- “I brought the virus home and transmitted it to my parents who could not survive.” Or there is this Survivor’s guilt. As experts say, these are some of the most natural human reactions. These will be there for some time and gradually settle. The only way to deal with guilt is to do things for others. Besides, it’s important to stick to covid appropriate behaviour – that is also an act of compassion, positivity, taking care of each other and social responsibility – doing things for others will help others and help yourself and that’s really the way to come out of this collective grief. As they say, altruism is the solution for any form of guilt.

Table: Self-care and self-healing apps and websites during Covid times





Let’s Meditate

Guided meditation; no sign-up policy, no ads; has guided meditation tracks

Mental health, meditation, sleep disorder

Funded through user donations


Uses AI chatbot that leverages evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques (CBT) to make the users feel heard; available on iOS devices

Mental health, stress, chat therapy, meditation, mindfulness exercises

Personal therapist sessions priced at Rs 1,496 a week, Rs 1,247 a month, Rs 8,983 a quarter


Online emotional counselling platform, remote counsellors and therapist; offers CBT, integrated holistic therapy; free certified therapist consultations in minutes upon request For paid users, it offers video call options as well

Psychotherapy, yoga, mental health, self-help, remote counsellors, sexual wellness


plans ranging from Rs 398 to Rs 1,995; other services free


Combines yoga, meditation, and nutrition for issues related to women’s health, daily wellbeing, chronic illnesses, and mental health

Mental health, meditation, nutrition, yoga

Offers subscription quarterly (Rs 398) or annually (Rs 698)

Wide range of solutions with a three-pronged philosophy of Think Right, Do Right and Live Right, to help users reprogramme the mind

Positive thinking, self-care, well-being, spirituality

Rs 500 annual subscription with access to all features

Online counselling, therapy, coaching and emotional health training platforms designed and created by psychologists, psychiatrists, coaches, counsellors and technology leaders. Caters to large companies as well

Mental health, well-being, depression, anxiety, stress, emotional health

Pricing based on client’s requirement


Over 200 meditations, wide range of experienced teachers for mental wellness

Mental health, anxiety, self-help

Available on both Android and iOS (In-app purchases available), Website at

Rs 250 and Rs 363, respectively

Evergreen Club

For senior citizens, has new ways of social interaction while at home; has been curated keeping in mind both, physical and mental healthof the elderly

Well-being, meditation, yoga, Home Zumba, acupressure

Pay per sessions services, ranging from Rs 34-375

Table: Masterclasses and Courses in spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing

Course Spiritual gurus Organisation Fee (Rs)
Anxiety & stress helpline, Immunity enhancement programmme, Covid recovery programme, Post-Covid rehabilitation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar The Art of Living Free

Workshop to get rid of anxiety & sleep disorders

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar The Art of Living 3,500
Online Sahaj Samadhi Dhyana Yoga Sri Sri Ravi Shankar The Art of Living 2,000

Online Meditation & Breath Workshop

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar The Art of Living 2,000
Sri Sri Yoga Level-2 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar The Art of Living 3,000

Yoga for Respiratory Health, Yoga for Immunity, Yoga for Covid Times, Peace, Health

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Isha Foundation Free
Raja Yoga Meditation, Inner Stability for unpredictable times B K Shivani Brahma Kumaris Free

Chopra Meditation Foundations

Deepak Chopra The Chopra Foundation 21,689

Creating Peace from the Inside Out

Deepak Chopra Chopra App 3,638

7 Days to Relieve Stress, Anxiety/ Restful Sleep

Deepak Chopra Chopra App 1,818

Source: TechSci Research

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