During the global coronavirus pandemic we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances.
Bereaved people may have to deal with increased trauma, and may be cut off from some of their usual support network. Those who are already struggling with bereavement, or whose relatives or friends die through other causes will also be affected.
Cruse.org.uk have put together resources to share how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic. It covers some of the different situations and emotions bereaved people may have to deal with. Click below to have a read
When someone in your life dies, feelings of grief can be overwhelming. These feelings may be even more difficult to handle if the death is traumatic, sudden or violent. There are many types of traumatic death – it could be through an accident, illness, terrorism, murder, manslaughter or suicide.
Click here or the image above to read the advice from the Winstons Wish Charity.
Take a look at Healthwatch England’s advice article on the organisations and groups that can support you if you’re grieving.
Click here for more information
Postcards from the Land of Grief – Comforting thoughts for the NHS
(by Richard Littledale)
“I write this as a person wearing many hats. I write as a grateful member of my community – a rainbow displayed in my window and hands clapped raw on a Thursday night. I write as a Pastor of some 30-years standing, a person who considers it an enormous privilege to accompany people through the shadowlands of bereavement. I write as a bereaved husband – having lost my wife to cancer at the age of 53 in Autumn 2017. I also write as an author and broadcaster on the subject of bereavement. It is a specialism which I neither sought nor welcomed, but about which I speak and write often now.
I have been very concerned about the cumulative impact of multiple deaths amongst patients and colleagues on staff. In the thick of it, the time to process what is going on is so limited. In consultation with my publisher, Authentic Media, I have produced a special edition of my book Postcards from the land of grief. Reactions to this material both from a global BBC Radio 4 audience and the 2019 annual Sue Ryder lecture would suggest that it may be of help to people. This PDF selection from the book is intended as a tool to aid staff in reflecting on what they are seeing and feeling. Each ‘postcard’ is short, and the whole document is only 27 pages long. We would like to make it freely available to any NHS staff who would like to access it.
Please click on the link to access ‘Postcards from the land of grief’ in PDF format.
The loss of a child: The loss of a child is one of the most difficult things that can happen. If you are a parent or family member who has experienced the loss of a child then there is no right or wrong way for you to feel. People grieve in different ways and at different rates, and in some cases you might find that it is difficult to support each other through this sad and difficult time. There are a number of different organisations that can provide additional help and support.
Click here or the image above to access help and advice from Berkshire West CCG.
“Sands understand how devastating it is when a baby dies as many of them have been through the experience ourselves.
Everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person needs different types of support and this can change over time. Some people may be happy to talk, others might take comfort from quietly reading about others experiences, while some may prefer to meet face to face and share their experience.“
“Bereaved families- We understand you may feel worried or anxious about the coronavirus (COVID-19), this may heighten existing health anxieties for you, and you may have concerns about the impact on you and your family. Our bereavement support and Information Freephone helplines are open 10am-5pm Mon-Fri and weekends and public holidays 6-10pm: 0808 802 6868.“
Before Their Time
COVID-19 is going to mean some people dying before their time, or some of us not being able to visit someone for a last time. It’s going to affect us in ways we’re only just starting to understand.
To acknowledge this, Dying Matters have launched the #BeforeTheirTime campaign. This is so people can share their experiences and talk through concerns in this difficult time. As well as the hashtag, the image below will also be used.
It can be difficult to know what to say when someone is very ill or to a bereaved person. This could be through fear of saying the wrong thing or fear of being intrusive, but people will often need a lot of support.
It’s better to do something than nothing – to acknowledge loss rather than ignore it;
Look for invitations to talk from the other person. If they start talking about the person who has died, encourage them, even if it seems to make them upset;
Be comforting when opening up the conversation rather business-like;
Try and create an environment where the person has the freedom to talk or not talk, according to what they want. “I’m around all day if you fancy a chat…”
Click on the images above to read the full guidance from Public Health.