In the UK the restrictions put in place due to Covid-19 have been constantly changing, through three lockdowns and periods of opening up. Coping with change can bring its own problems if you have been bereaved.
Some people will find the uncertainty of changing rules more difficult to deal with than one simple lockdown. If you've been bereaved, both making the change to re-engage with life, or having sources of support removed at short notice, can be particularly difficult.
For many people, life will never be the same again. If you have been recently bereaved you may not have been able to say goodbye the way you wanted, and this might have made dealing with your experiences very difficult. Alternatively, 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 you long to meet with friends and family when it is against current restrictions, but 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.
“I lost my mum the week of lockdown to an 18-month battle to cancer. The lockdown meant we couldn’t be with her. I coped well until people started returning to work but now I cry daily. The thing I find the hardest is now this is starting to lift people are able to see their mums and hug them. I will never get that back. Because I’m a keyworker I can’t even see friends and family due to risk. I just don’t go out. It’s a very lonely time.”
How you can help yourself
Talking to friends and family can help.
We have some more tips on coping with grief in isolation, and many of these apply whether or not you are isolated at the moment.
If someone died and you were not able to hold a funeral 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. When and as things open up, you may be able to plan a memorial service or event to bring people together.
How you can help another person
Don’t forget about those friends or relatives who are isolating or who have lost someone before or during this pandemic. Check in on them – people often tell us that support can tail off after the first few weeks or months.
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.
How Cruse can help
Cruse is continuing to offer as much support as possible.
Our National Freephone Helpline is available – call 0808 808 1677. Opening hours.
There is a lot of information elsewhere on the website.
Bereavement Volunteers in our Local Services are offering telephone or online support for one-to-one sessions. Find the details of your Local Service.