Restrictions affecting how many people are allowed to attend a funeral are likely to impact on how you are able to acknowledge the person who has died. This may affect the way you are able to grieve for them. If you are prevented, for whatever reason, from attending the funeral, you may be able to take some time to pause around the time of the service. We have produced some ideas that might help you mark the time of the funeral, which you can see here.
Look after yourself
In these situations, it’s even more important to take care of yourself. The following suggestions may help.
Do what you can to keep in contact with others: Even if you’re not an internet user, phone calls or text messaging are important links to family and friends. If you do use the internet, FaceTime, Skype or Zoom allow you to see the people you are talking to. If you use a smartphone, WhatsApp is another quite easy way to connect with people.
Try to eat regularly: You may not feel like eating, but eating even small amounts at regular times helps to structure your day and keep you nourished. Not eating properly can make us feel worse, so try to eat proper food, rather than snacking. Again, if you use the internet, you could try to arrange to have your meal at the same time a family member or friend and then link up with them using FaceTime or WhatsApp.
Try to get proper rest: It’s not uncommon for grief to disrupt a person’s patterns of sleep. Again, you may be tempted to stay up late and avoid going to bed. Some people watch TV and fall asleep in a chair. But bad sleeping habits can leave us feeling drained and lethargic. Sleep can be helped by following a winding-down routine – having a regular time to go to bed, preparing for bed perhaps with a milky drink; avoid stimulants like coffee, or watching TV (especially news programmes), or using a computer. You’re likely to have a lot on your mind, so keep a notepad and pen. Then, if something comes to mind that might kept you awake, you can make a not and forget about it till the morning.
In the same vein, try not to watch, read or listen to too much news: When you’re isolated, things can easily play on your mind. There’s plenty of bad news at the moment and taking in too much of it can leave us feeling distressed and feed our anxiety. If you do follow the news, make sure you only use trusted sources, such as the BBC, the NHS or the Government.
Support from Princess Alice Hospice
Being prevented from attending a funeral can leave a lasting memory that is difficult to deal with. Princess Alice Hospice offers bereavement support that may help with this.
In normal times, the Hospice also holds a short Remembrance Service at 3.00pm on the first Wednesday of each month (we will try to do this digitally and once the coronavirus crisis has passed we will resume as normal).
For more help, advice and support, call: 01372 461806