Going through a bereavement is difficult at any time. In the current situation, it is being made even more challenging as people find themselves cut off from their support networks.
In the fourth of its series of articles relating to the impact of Covid-19 on our lives, we're taking a closer look at grief to help people adjust to new ways of coping with loss during lockdown.
Penny Mansfield CBE (co-director at OnePlusOne):
“Losing a loved one is always difficult, and we all have our own ways of coping. Some of those methods – such as large funeral gatherings to say our final farewells – are not an option right now, and this can leave people feeling cheated out of the chance to pay their last respects, or feeling that their loved one didn’t get the send-off they deserved.
Being able to grieve properly is important. In a couple relationship, partners can offer support to each other, bearing in mind that each of us may handle our grief differently. While we may not be able to mourn in the traditional way, there are certainly steps we can take to mark a loss and support those who are mourning, even if we can’t be close to them.”
Advice for coping with grief during this period of social distancing includes:
Speaking on the phone or arranging a video chat with people who can share fond memories of your loved one and offer mutual support.
Attending a live stream of the funeral if possible, so you can say your final farewell even if you are unable to be physically present.
Writing down your memories of the person who has died. It may even be helpful to plan a memorial service to celebrate their life when all of this is over.