Nine Safer Community Practices to Help Us Process Grief During COVID-19


BEAM: Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective

Nine Safer Community Practices to Help Us Process Grief During COVID-19

[illustration of a Black family praying together]

Remember Our Legacy as Healers

As Black folks, we are not strangers to grieving. Nor are we strangers to healing.

Sometimes in moments of grief, we may forget the healing strategies that we know, or we may find that dominant spaces try to minimize our strategies.

Always remember you have the power to heal within you.

[illustration of a African woman wearing a head scarf and gold jewelry with her palms raised to the sky]

Community Altars

Build a community altar in your yard or neighborhood that folks can visit safely.

You can use pictures, flowers, or even have music playing to help people grieve. Altars can help us process loss.

[illustration of six lit candles, they are pink, blue and green]

Honor the Memory of Loved Ones Through Art + Drawing

Get crayons, paper, play dough, and markers and use them to create art that expresses how you feel.

Talk about what you create.

[illustration of a Black child drawing a lion, flower, and stars on the wall]

Honor the Memory of Loved Ones Through Videos

Create a video/movie featuring your favorite memories of your loved ones and share with your family.

Have folks use their phone to record funny or memorable stories that you can put together and share in the video.

[illustration of a movie clapperboard]

Host a Virtual Praise/Singing Space

Singing can help us move through hard times.

While singing in space together is not safe right now, singing together virtually can help us feel connected and move through grief.

[illustration of a hand holding a microphone]

Cook Your Loved Ones' Favorite Dishes

Cook and enjoy the recipes or foods that your loved one made.

Drop them off at family members' homes if you cannot eat together.

Tell the stories behind the meals.

[illustration of two women cutting carrots and tomatoes to put them in a pan]

Write Letters to Your Loved Ones

Writing a letter to a loved one can be a way for you to express things you never had a chance to, or express things you always wanted to tell them.

It can also be a way to remember things about them you loved.

[illustration of a girl writing at a desk]

Spiritual and Religious Rituals

In times of challenge, our faith can sustain us.

Connect deeply with your faith community if you have one. Read the sacred texts of your tradition or sing the songs safely with others.

[illustration of a choir singing]

Protest, Organize, and Support Local Grassroots Efforts

Organizing community is one powerful way to work through grief.

You can… start petitions, start community fridges, support food banks, support mutual aid projects, donate to different causes.

[illustration of a Black person defiantly holding their fist in the air and wearing a face mask.]