Offering bereavement support for those who have been affected by Covid-19.

When bad things happen...

…it’s natural to want to be with those you know that care about you. Losing someone you love is one of those times.

Being able not only to speak with people who love you but to reach out and touch and be touched by them is so important. For many of us, this is just what we are being denied by the present Coronavirus/Covid-19 health crisis.

This lack of human contact is made worse for those of us who have been prevented from being with someone we love in their last few days. Either because they’ve been in hospice or hospital, or because we’ve had to self-isolate. The pain of not being able to be with them at the end can feel unbearable, and when this is followed by being isolated from others who might support us, it can just feel all too cruel.

Being alone and isolated can make it easier for our thoughts to turn inward, which can magnify our feelings of grief. Being isolated with others can bring its own difficulties; people need to grieve in their own ways and this may lead to conflicts.

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