We are so very sorry you have lost someone dear to you at this very difficult moment in our national life. Whether they have died of Coronavirus or another way, you are facing something unimaginable and unprecedented which will leave you feeling devastated and powerless.   We hope that the few thoughts and ideas below will help you to feel less alone and know that people care.

1. Reach out

Although you may not be able to see people in person, please reach out to as many people as possible at this time using the phone, text, or internet if it is available to you. Grief is hard at the best of times but grieving in isolation will feel much worse.

2. Tell people how you are feeling.  

Whilst you cannot change what has happened, talking can often ease the pain and could help you to cope.  Bereavement can make us feel lonely and fearful and the current situation is likely to make you feel particularly so. These are natural thoughts and feelings which will be shared by many around the country at this difficult time and you are not weak or a failure for experiencing them. 

3. Don’t feel bad about feeling angry or guilty.

These are also very normal feelings in bereavement and may be particularly present now.  You may feel angry that you were not able to support the person or save them when they needed people most.  You may feel guilty about not having been able to visit or spend valuable time with them recently. Tell others how you are feeling. Expressing strong feelings can reduce their power.  And try to remember that you couldn’t have imagined the happenings of recent times so you cannot be blamed for not managing to travel or visit.  Try also to remember what you have done that made them happy. 

If you would like to talk to a GriefChat counsellor you can do so through this website.  Click here.  
4. Take good care of yourself. 

Eat well and try to get some fresh air or sunlight each day - also some rest and exercise. If you can't go out open a window or do some exercise in your home

5. Try to keep to a regular routine. 

This could be hard but it can make a huge difference keeping to a regular routine of getting up and dressed and eating meals at the usual time.  

6. Ask for practical help. 

Bereavement can be overwhelming at the best of times. Let people know - friends, family or neighbours - what they can do to help.  It may be that someone can bring you shopping or a nutritious meal or something else you need or would like.  Or perhaps there are people who can help you with admin, funeral arrangements and informing others.

7. Spoil yourself where you can.  

You may not be able to go outside but think what might be a treat within the home.  Life may feel like it is caving in but it is still worth living.

8. Protect yourself from further distress.  

You might find it easier to avoid or limit watching or reading the news at the moment, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed - and to choose to watch on the television something that you are familiar with that you usually enjoy. 

9. Find some jobs to do around the home or garden (if you have one). 

At times when you have the energy, try to do some of your household jobs, no matter how small.  It can help to see things becoming orderly and also to have times when you are doing usual things.  

10. Don’t feel bad about struggling

Lots of people are struggling at this time and it is particularly understandable that you will be. Reach out to others especially when you are feeling bad and definitely if you are feeling that life is not worth living. Try to pick up the phone and say so.

11. Seek help from bereavement support services, especially those related to your loss.

Take a look at the bereavement support services found on this website. By using the filters you will be able to find the services that can particularly help with your loss.  There is a lot of useful information on websites you could read. Contact as many relevant organisations as you can to benefit from their specialist or locally provided help, and to find people who can relate to what you are going through. 

12. Go with the flow. 

Try to allow yourself to accept all the various feelings and reactions that come up and not to stifle or deny them. Be assured that whatever you are feeling and doing and however that changes, it will be normal and will, in due course, settle down. 

Useful helplines and links:

Have a look at this short film on grief produced by the Loss Foundation. It will help you to understand what grief is and make sense of what you might be experiencing.

If you are feeling depressed you might find this short film on depression and advice on managing it helpful. 

See the resources section on this website which has many helpful reads about grief, how to help children and teenagers, reflective material, questions about faith in bereavement, and many other subjects that will support you on your bereavement journey.

You may find the British Psychological Society leaflet about supporting yourself and others following bereavement during the Coronavirus lockdown useful. Find the leaflet HERE