Coping with grief after the death of a loved one, friend or colleague is an incredibly sad experience at any time, but it is even more challenging during the current circumstances.
Those who experience loss as a consequence of COVID-19, or loss through another cause may experience increased trauma, and may feel and be cut off from some of their usual support network.
Very sadly, some families may not have had the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones before they died, which can be particularly upsetting. The observance of practices and traditions which normally occur after someone has died may also be affected.
We often want to come together at a time of bereavement. However, because of the virus, we are limited to the telephone and online channels.
Help is available
Several bereavement charities and organisations offer guidance, advice, and support to deal with bereavement during this pandemic.
Bereft Bereavement Support is Ealing’s local bereavement counselling service. They offer open ended counselling to Ealing residents that have suffered a loss. Clients pay on a sliding scale based on what they can afford.
The bereavement care charity Cruse is helping families affected by coronavirus. You can find a broad range of guidance, including easy read fact sheets on their website.
The Childhood Bereavement Network has provided advice and guidance from a number of bereavement organisations serving children and young people. This includes information supporting a bereaved child or a young person, how to say goodbye when a funeral is not possible because of social distancing restrictions, and guidance for families with children and young people around changes to funerals.
Condolences to those suffering a loss
Ealing Council leader Julian Bell said: “The death of a loved one is incredibly hard to handle and my thoughts and condolences are with all those who are suffering after the loss of someone close to them at this difficult time.
“I urge you to please take advantage of the help available to you. At a time when we cannot come together to support each other physically, do make sure you speak with others impacted by the death and organisations that can provide you with support and advice.”
Further support is also available from:
• The Good Grief Trust – Coronavirus bereavement advice
• At A Loss – Dealing with bereavement and grief during Covid-19
• National Association of Funeral Directors – COVID-19 Funeral Advice
• The Compassionate Friends – support for families after the death of a child, you can also call 0345 123 2304
• Muslim Youth Helpline
• Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service
• Inspirited Minds
• Quaker Social Action
• Marie Curie Telephone Bereavement Support – 0800 090 2309, calls are free, lines are open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday and 11am-5pm Saturday
Registering a death
If you need to register the death of a loved one but the death is related to COVID-19 and you have been in close contact, you will not be able to attend in person to register. Please check the council’s information on registering a death because of COVID-19.
You may also want to look at the Public Health England guidance to ensure funerals are conducted safely.