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Bereavement during COVID-19

I have just read the Gov.uk latest advice for safe funerals and whilst I can completely concur with the safety aspects, my heart goes out to all those who can’t say goodbye to their loved one in the way that they would wish.

Anyone who has been bereaved will undoubtedly experience a wide range of emotions linked to the grief cycle and for a lot of them much significance is attached to how the funeral is conducted, who attended and the opportunity offered to remember the person they have lost. By speaking to others who are also at the funeral who have known the loved one well, sharing the memories they have made together may invite a healing process to begin. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is not allowing this process to happen readily now with only a very limited amount of attendees permitted.

As humans we usually seek comfort from others at these sad times and for a lot of us this means that we instinctively want to offer that comfort by touch; either by just a handshake or hand on the arm or a hug, this opportunity has also been taken from us in these extraordinary circumstances as we have to forego what may come quite naturally to us and just rely on words of comfort and compassion.

Currently funerals will be taking place for those who may have been terminally ill for some time and who may have spent some time speaking to their families about the sort of funeral they would like, how sad that their planned service may not be able to take place due to current restrictions. This inevitably will leave families feeling very disappointed and upset, to suffer a difficult loss, then potentially feeling as though they haven’t been able to honour their loved one’s wishes could be incredibly hard.

For some religious groups there are certain rituals that they need to observe around bereavement and at the moment I guess they may either not have the opportunity to conduct these practices or they may have to change quite radically. Again, having to manage these adjustments can impact heavily on the recovery process we all need to go through after a loss.

As with a lot of circumstances at the moment, bereavement is a time when families and friends can care for each other in all the ways that are possible; pick up the phone, send a text or an email, Face-time, whatever they feel that they can offer. Just to reach out to someone who is grieving in very difficult circumstances can mean an awful lot to the bereaved. Maybe discussing how you can honour the memory of your loved one after the crisis is over may be helpful and quite healing. Managing the wealth of emotions that loss invites is difficult in normal circumstances, but at the moment it is incredibly challenging.

Relying on professionals who you can trust, can ease the burden a little, so you have more opportunity to look after yourself and your family. Contact the team at Brethertons if you need any help and advice at a time of loss: 

Emma Stewart on 01869 255912 emmastewart@brethertons.co.uk

Sarah Horton on 01295 661535 sarahhorton@brethertons.co.uk

or use our online contact form, letting us know how and when it is best for us to get back to you.