The Sikh Network on grieving in lockdown and death 'as a process of life'

Singh Sabha Gurdwara

Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Seven Kings, Ilford - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Over these challenging 16 months, many of us have experienced more deaths of loved ones than we could have ever anticipated due to the pandemic. 

On top of the loss of loved ones, we had to suffer missing out on many of our traditions surrounding grieving and death.

Dealing with death can be very complex as it brings to the forefront new emotions.

Maybe as you get older, you are forced to accept dealing with grief as part of the practice of being a "mature" adult. It is not necessarily about growing a thick skin or becoming numb to emotion, sometimes it simply becomes a show of strength for others and putting on a brave face. And that results in the bottling up of so much inside. 

Mankamal Singh – The Sikh Network

Mankamal Singh says that during the pandemic traditions around death were lost - Credit: The Sikh Network

Faith and traditions help us see death as the next journey and this is powerful in helping us grieve. I have paid my respects to many families in my lifetime, when their loved ones have moved on from their lives, and seen how different families and individuals grieve. 

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Those who accept death as a process of life come to terms with the loss, even in reconciliation and closure. 

We are all here to serve some kind of positive purpose - in Sikh culture we sometimes refer to this in a profound "balancing of our books" ethos and we are taught that sadness and happiness are all just by-products of the process of life where the soul is never subjected to death.

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In this way we stay focused on making our life more meaningful. 

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