Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult things to happen in our lives. During times of grief, there is somebody you can talk to and organisations that offer a range of support.
How to cope with bereavement and grief during the coronavirus pandemic
Bereavement, which is a difficult experience under any situation, is taking place under very challenging circumstances during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
If someone you know has died of coronavirus or complications resulting from the virus, there are some things that may be hard to deal with such as not being able to spend time with someone who is dying or not be able to say goodbye in person.
Some bereaved people may not be able to attend funerals due to restrictions on the number of people that can attend. Current guidance is that only 15 people can attend a funeral.
Both those who experience loss as a consequence to COVID-19, or loss through another cause may experience increased trauma and may be cut off from some of their usual support network. When you are bereaved you should stay in touch with other people, however because of the virus this needs to be by telephone, video, and online.
Please watch the video below from an RDASH (Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust) bereavement counsellor.
Charities and organisations offering guidance, advice and support
Several local and national bereavement charities and organisations offer guidance, advice, and support to deal with bereavement during this pandemic, both the practical and psychological aspects.
Who can refer:
- Primary Care Staff
- Hospital bereavement services staff
- Mortuary staff
- Funeral directors
- Coroner’s office
- Crematorium and bereavement services staff
- Community and Faith organisations
Aurora Bereavement Support
Aurora are offering emotional support to front line staff working (from any organisation, Doncaster Council, Doncaster & Bassettlaw Hospital, Supermarkets etc.), anyone with a long term condition (shielding) and those having to deal with a bereavement. They have 30 plus professional and experienced volunteers focusing on the preventative measures to help long term mental health issues, talking and supporting. This service is available in Doncaster and Mexborough only. Callers can access Aurora directly on 07517835028 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and via the community hub.
Further support is also available from:
- The Good Grief Trust - Coronavirus Bereavement Advice
- Cruse - Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief or call their nationwide bereavement support telephone line 0808 808 1677
- At A Loss - Dealing with bereavement and grief during the Covid-19 pandemic
- National Association of Funeral Directors - COVID-19 Funeral Advice
- The Compassion Friends - support for families after the death of a child, you can also call 0345 123 2304
- Inspirited Minds
- Marie Curie Telephone Bereavement Support
Supporting someone who is grieving
The charity, Dying Matters have launched a new campaign, #BeforeTheirTime so that people can share their experiences and talk through concerns about not being able to see someone before they die and how this is affecting them.
It can be difficult to know what to say to someone who is grieving but Dying Matters have suggested these tips on how to support someone who is grieving:
- it's better to do something than nothing - to acknowledge loss rather than ignore it
- look for invitations to talk from the other person. If they start talking about the person who has died, encourage them, even if it seems to make them upset
- be comforting when opening up the conversation rather than business-like
- try and create an environment where the person has the freedom to talk or not talk, according to what they want. I'm around all day if you fancy a chat...