WICCI West Bengal health care council enlightens on Grief Therapy with Dr. Anuttama Banerjee
9th July, Kolkata: Women Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI) hosted a virtual discussion on “Grief Therapy” with renowned psychologist, poet, columnist Dr. Anuttama Banerjee, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Medica Superspecialty Hospital. The session highlighted the distress during pandemic, helplessness and grief due to loss of loved ones. Dr Banerjee described the various concepts of grief and the ways that we need to learn to control it. The virtual discussion was moderated by Ms. Soma Chakraborty, President of WICCI Healthcare Council, West Bengal Chapter.
Elaborating on the grief theory, Dr. Anuttama Banerjee commented, “I would like to formally thank WICCI for raising and delving on a topic which is the need of the hour. The whole idea is to re-engage with life but we cannot fix anybody’s grief, we have to contain it, be with that person. On some occasions we can anticipate grieving and yet we start bargaining with omnipotence, then rationality takes a back seat. In COVID scenario when there have been multiple deaths in family the entire grieving process becomes accumulative. In the last two waves of COVID we have seen deaths that defy any pattern it can happen anytime with anyone of us. The abruptness and untimeliness of it makes the process more painful. Especially during COVID deaths we are alone while dying or grieving. There is also the concept of complicated grief when guilt becomes embedded in mourning. We often tend to blame ourselves for the death of a near person or even in grief we blame the deceased. The pandemic has shattered this fictional belief and questioned the reasoning behind our own lives and subsequent grieving after death.”
Dr. Anuttama Banerjee further added, “Death of an enemy also incurs a sense of guilt. Even there are times when grief comes abruptly when a person dies with whom we had unresolved animosity. People must understand that grief might dilute over time, memory is not a task to be performed it is internalized. There is another form of grieving experience which is disenfranchised grief. We cannot tell people as they will question the authenticity of the grief and the right for us to grieve. It is extremely difficult to even voice as we are entirely alone with that. Let us not be judgmental.”
Dr. Anuttama Banerjee also highlighted delayed grieving where people tend to hide the grieving process as that might impact their regular chores and that will compromise their works. This have been seen especially with doctors or frontline warriors who have lost near ones during the pandemic and often delayed the process of grieving. But the grieving will come back later on with major traumatic event. The virtual discussion also touched on inhibited grief. This form of grief is entirely personal, one might find it shocking. People have different form of expression and there are some people who does not express. She also discussed that people should not confuse grief with depression. Sadness is the only common area between grieving and depression. In clinical depression, one feels hopeless and negative with their lives. This depression takes away the ability to dream.
The session engaged many viewers and there were queries on various effects of grief. Dr. Anuttama Banerjee and Ms. Soma Chakraborty concluded the session on how to manage grief by suggesting not trying constantly on managing grief rather just let the grief go. It needs time and patience. One must start containing their pain. Guilt can be taken away as one never desires to lose their loved ones. Grieving does not require social etiquette it requires genuine empathetic connection.
Ms. Soma Chakraborty, President of WICCI Healthcare Council, West Bengal Chapter commented, “In the midst of a pandemic it is very hard to come to terms with the loss and sense of overwhelming grief. COVID 19 has claimed the lives of millions of lives around the world. The constant experience of loss has created a heightened awareness of our own mortality as well as the fragility of so many other aspects which may have previously been taken for granted.”
The session was hosted by WICCI Bengal Chapter and was supported by Dr. Harbeen Arora, Global Chairperson All Ladies League, Founder of WICCI and founder of Sheconomy, Ms Manjulal Jain, Ms. Indu Gandhi, Ms. Usha Agarwal.