People experiencing a bereavement are now facing exceptionally challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who are grieving as a consequence to COVID-19, or through a different cause, may experience increased trauma during this time as a result of being physically isolated from usual support networks. Likewise, some families may not have had the opportunity to be with their loved one at end of life, have the opportunity to say goodbye or follow practise and tradition after death as they usually would. This is particularly upsetting and will affect many people in different ways. This video from the Irish Hospice Foundation speaks about grief during exceptional times: https://youtu.be/DM-2fDRiIIA
There are several national and local resources that offer guidance and support to deal with bereavement at this time.
Marie Curie Telephone Bereavement Support service is a free national listening scheme for people bereaved due to a terminal illness. This service will match you with a trained volunteer for regular support sessions over the telephone. Call 0800 090 2309
National Bereavement Alliance: https://nationalbereavementalliance.org.uk/covid-19/
Cruse – dealing with bereavement and grief during coronavirus: https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus-dealing-bereavement-and-grief
The British Psychological Society: Supporting yourself and others, coping with death and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.bps.org.uk/sites/www.bps.org.uk/files/Policy/Policy%20-%20Files/Supporting%20yourself%20and%20others.pdf
The Mary Stevens Hospice Patient and Family Support offer information, signposting and support. Please call 01384 443010 and ask for the bereavement team.
Mary Stevens Hospice Bereavement Booklet: https://www.rns.uk/mary-stevens-hospice-60054-2
Let’s Get Healthy Dudley: https://lets-get.com/explore/bereavement/
Grief Chat: https://www.griefchat.co.uk/
Winston’s Wish: Speaking with children about COVID-19 https://www.winstonswish.org/coronavirus-supporting-bereaved-children-and-young-people/
Supporting young people through bereavement: https://lets-get.com/explore/bereavement/supporting-children-and-young-people-through-loss-and-bereavement/
Keeping in touch when you can’t be with someone so ill they might die: http://www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/media/102504/Keeping-in-touch.pdf
End of life at home and your choices: https://lets-get.com/explore/bereavement/end-of-life-at-home/
Grief In Exceptional Times – Irish Hospice Foundation: https://hospicefoundation.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Funeral-in-exceptional-times-Updated.pdf
Listening and Guidance service: Referral via your GP surgery for up to 4 phone appointments to support with loss. Includes 2 wellbeing assessments and onward links with social prescribing if needed.
Muslim Bereavement Support: http://mbss.org.uk/
COVID-19 Muslim Burial Resource: https://mcb.org.uk/community/covid-19-muslim-burial-resources/
The Sikh Helpline: Managing COVID-19 related death: https://www.sikhhelpline.com/guidance-to-gurdwaras-managing-covid-19-related-death/
Quaker Social Action – Support with Funeral Costs: https://quakersocialaction.org.uk/we-can-help/helping-funerals/down-earth/coronavirus-organising-meaningful-funeral