Coping as restrictions ease

As we reach the two-year anniversary of the first lockdown, restrictions are being removed across the UK. But many of those grieving someone who died are still struggling.

March 3, 2022

In the UK the restrictions put in place due to Covid-19 have been constantly changing through lockdowns and periods of opening up. Many people are hoping that things are finally returning to normal, but for those bereaved during the pandemic life will never be the same again.

Coping with change

Coping with change brings its own problems if you have been bereaved. Some people will have found the uncertainty of changing rules more difficult to deal with than one simple lockdown. If you’ve been bereaved, having sources of support removed at short notice may have been very hard. But making the change to re-engage with life can also be difficult.

Bereavement during the pandemic

Research has shown that Covid restrictions made grief harder to bear in lockdown.

  • You may not have been able to say goodbye the way you wanted, and this might have made dealing with your experiences very difficult.
  • You might have felt numb while everything was on hold. You may not have been able to hold the funeral you wanted, and the uncertainty of making plans which might have to be cancelled can be difficult to cope with.
  • You may find that although you longed to meet with friends and family when it was against current restrictions, you also find it difficult to join in during those times when it is once again allowed.
  • Even if you were bereaved some time before the current crisis, you may have found that lockdown periods and the current pandemic raised some very difficult memories and feelings.

If you are struggling at this time, you are not alone, and we are here to help you.

What can help

  • Talking to friends and family can help. Reaching out can be difficult but sometimes people want to help but just aren’t sure how to start the conversation.
  • If someone died and you were not able to hold a funeral or memorial in the way you would have liked, you can try and remember them in other ways. You could look at pictures, play some of the person’s favourite music, write a message to them, or light a candle. You may now be able to plan a memorial service or event to bring people together.
  • We are here if you need to talk about how you are feeling. Call our freephone helpline (0808 808 1677) chat to us online, or find out what services are available in your area.

How you can help someone who’s grieving

Don’t forget about those friends or relatives who have lost someone before or during this pandemic. They may really benefit from your help. Why not check in on them – people often tell us that support can tail off after the first few weeks or months.

It often means a lot to people when someone remembers anniversaries and special days. Even if their friend or relative died before the pandemic, they will have missed out on support and may have found periods of isloation were very damaging.

If your friend or relative is grieving don’t pressure them to return to normality too soon. Offer practical help and ask what would help them the most, whether it’s meeting in person, or catching up on the phone or online.