Grief and Bereavement Support by Julia Kowalewsky RN
Leading on from resilience, we are all faced with extremely difficult and uncertain times ahead. Many have already suffered loss, some of those losses will be due to COVID-19 and others will be losing their loved ones to other illnesses.
Experiencing grief following bereavement is exceptionally difficult for anyone; those dealing with the formalities of a death, processing the news and attending a funeral or memorial service. It can also be very hard to support those grieving around you. Bereavement triggers different emotions in everyone; sadness, anger, guilt and we all deal with death in our own way.
What connects these losses at this exceptionally challenging time is the effect that the pandemic has made on how we accept such sad news and how we say goodbye.
The COVID-19 guidelines mean we are unable to attend funerals, memorials and remembrance services, which to many, are an important process of saying farewell to a loved one. At a time when family and friends normally come together to support one another, we now find ourselves cut off from our usual face to face support network and the comfort that comes from just being in the same room together and giving someone a hug.
Care workers may also have additional concerns should a client or a member of their family either become unwell or sadly, pass away. There will be pressure to continue to work to beat the crisis, the concern that they will pass the virus to their family or clients and the lack of time to be able to process any difficult news.
During the time that we cannot meet, it is important to contact friends and family remotely. Making phone and video calls and connecting in any safe way that we can to be able to provide and receive support to those closest to us. It is possible that some funeral services will be filmed or streamed so that you can watch from home, say goodbye and remember that person. You can also plan to hold a memorial service together when it is safe to do so.
There are also online resources which are available to support you through any challenging time and may be even more useful at a time when there is added worry. Many acknowledge and pay specific attention to the effects that coronavirus has had on grief and bereavement.
- Cruse Bereavement care offer support, advice and information to those who have lost someone, and can be accessed by children and adults. They also have a section of their site which provides support specifically for the added challenges the coronavirus pandemic imposes on bereavement: https://www.cruse.org.uk/
If you have any questions for the team, or would like to meet with one of us please get in touch: SupervisionAppraisalteam@ukics.com