Dealing with Bereavement and Grief during Social Distancing
Help for Grief and Bereavement
Bereavement is a difficult experience in any circumstances, but the COVID-19 global pandemic has made it harder than ever to handle the loss of a loved one.
Those who have experienced losing a loved one to COVID have seen an already difficult situation made worse due to the restrictions we have had to live in. People have had to grieve alone, cut off from their normal support network whilst enduring increased trauma.
Very unfortunately, many families have not had the chance to say goodbye to family members passing during lockdown. This is particularly upsetting, especially when combined with other traditions and practices, such as wakes, also being affected. These restrictions will also affect people who have lost loved ones through none COVID related reasons.
When you experience a bereavement, it is essential to stay in touch with others. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, you will not be able to do much of this face to face and so you’ll need to consider the use of video, telephone and online services in order to do this.
Being alone and dealing with Bereavement and Grief during Lockdown
Lockdown and the loss of a loved one is an extremely painful combination that so many people have suffered from and it has made grieving even more difficult. Talking and being shoulder to shoulder with friends and loved ones is one of the most helpful coping mechanisms but the need to remain physically removed from others has sadly meant thousands of people have not been able to experience this usual comfort.
The isolation has served to intensify feelings of grief and loneliness. Some people have had to live alone in the house that they shared together with the loved one they have lost, which serves to bring about painful reminders of the situation at every turn. You may have had to isolate with your family and whilst this is a support group, pre-existing resentments and tensions can flare up and be magnified which will make it harder to help each other.
Isolation also makes it harder to process the concept of grief. We live in a time of a constant stream of negative and distressing information and news. It becomes easy to find yourself distracted from dealing with your own grief, because you are worrying about the pandemic as a whole or worrying more about other people who are also experiencing grief.
There are also practical concerns. Losing a loved one to COVID might have been your parent, carer or partner and you will be without emotional and practical support at the time you most need it. Friends or loved ones who would otherwise have been able to help with these practical elements, such as shopping or providing meals, may be required to self-isolate themselves, or are otherwise pre-occupied with their own affairs.
Grief and Bereavement care Services
Whilst it cannot make the pain of a bereavement go away, there are a number of bereavement support websites that can help you during difficult times. Your local council should have bereavement services available via their website and the government has provided a step by step guide of the mechanisms of dealing with a death and there is online help for people suffering with grief and bereavement.
Cruse, which is a bereavement charity, are helping families that have been affected by lockdown and the loss of a loved one. There is a wide range of advice available on their website and you can also contact the charity on their national helpline via 0808 808 1677 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to this, AtALoss.org can provide a directory of grief and bereavement services to help you locate support that is appropriate for your situation, and their live chat service allows you to talk to a fully trained bereavement counsellor free of charge. You can also contact The Good Grief trust for their specialist Coronavirus bereavement advice services.
Unfortunately, children and young people are not immune from the effects of a bereavement during the pandemic. The Childhood Bereavement Network has compiled advice to support a child or young person to deal with bereavement and grief during social distancing and changes that have been made to funeral arrangements.
Physical Symptoms of Grief and Bereavement
When dealing with the loss of a loved one, our bodies often react in unexpected ways and this can be confusing or worrying. You may suffer from difficulty sleeping, experience heightened anxiety and suffer with a loss of appetite or comfort eating.
You can feel drained and unable to think straight, whilst also being more vulnerable to a physical illness in the immediate aftermath of a bereavement.
These are normal reactions that people experience when suffering with loss and pass with time. However, if these problems persist you may require assistance from your GP. Every person is an individual and will handle grief in their own way, but regular exercise is a good way to combat some of these physical symptoms, as well as breathing exercises and meditation.
Kenna and Turner are here to help
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in so many ways, and the experience of a funeral has been completely different since lockdown started in March 2020. Goodbyes are always painful, but with restrictions causing reduced numbers at funerals, it has become even harder.
If you experience the loss of a loved one, please know you are not alone. If the lockdown prevents you from seeing family or friends, please refer to some of the websites listed earlier in this article. If you require assistance with a funeral, then please reach out to Kenna and Turner.
A funeral director in Wallasey on the Wirral, we are a long established and family run firm. We’ve been providing dignified, supportive and professional funerals for over 100 years.
If you require any information about a funeral, please contact us today and we can provide you with all the help and support you require.
Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 at 10:31 am in Latest News.