If you know someone who has been bereaved at this time they need your help.  We have prepared below an easy to remember summary of what you can do both in film and written form.  Do refer people to these pages and this film (you could share from our social media) so that as many people as possible get to hear how they can help:  

CONTACT

  • Dare to get in touch.

The bereaved need support - but most people step back for fear of not knowing what to say. 

Send a card, letter, message, flowers or gift, saying you are sorry about their loss and thinking of them, sharing (if you knew the person) your photos, what you remember of the person and how they will be missed.  Say you don’t expect them to respond.

  • Call

Phone (don't video call). Be aware they may not want to answer when you do.  If so, leave a message, saying you’ll call again and when and that it’s okay not to pick up. 

Make sure you do, and continue, leaving a message as before.

  • Offer practical help 

Shopping, meals, dog walking, gardening - whatever daily tasks might be possible for you to do. Make suggestions about what and when, rather than expect them to think and approach you.  Even at a distance you could do admin or phone people for them.

LISTEN

  • Don’t think that you know.

Every bereavement is different and reactions are likely to change. Even if you’ve been bereaved yourself or been trained in grief you don’t know what this person is going through or what they’re experiencing now.

  • Ask.

Ask about the person who has died and what happened, and about their feelings and issues. Listen carefully and ask again and again. The more they tell their story, the more they will process their loss.

  • Don’t give solutions.

Your ideas of what will make them feel better are yours and not theirs and assuring them that time will heal or things will improve may belittle what they are facing now. Hear the problems and reactions. Say they are normal and acknowledge their pain.

BLESS

  • Shower with good things.

Continually say, do and give things that make the grieving person feel special and loved.  This can make life feel worth living.

  • Ensure it’s not just you.

Make sure others are around supporting too and that the person finds as much other help as possible, especially from specialist services (find services through this website)

Finding peer support can be really helpful and seeing that those people are ‘surviving’ can often bring genuine hope.

  • Keep it up.

Be prepared to support for the long haul. The grief journey is usually long and can be complicated.  It will often get worse before it gets better, but most support will drop away after a few weeks. 

Use this as your opportunity to find out more about how to be alongside the person through all of their grief journey and pain (see the resources page on this website). If you need support in doing this please do contact the on-line professional counselling support, GriefChat via this website. 

The British Psychological Society have produced this leaflet about supporting yourself and others following bereavement during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Find the leaflet HERE