Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement
Dealing with bereavement is never easy.
But it could be especially difficult at the moment as you also face many other stresses. Coronavirus has left many of us feeling isolated; we may also be dealing with job losses, precarious finances and more.
We’ve already written guides on how to manage your mental health during this time, and we’ll also be updating our blog with details on how to manage finances too. In this blog, we’ll be looking at loss and sharing some things that might help you cope.
Bereavement and loss
Even if you don’t have mental health problems or a history of trauma, loss can be an extremely difficult thing to experience. You may feel grief for many reasons: the death of a loved one, a serious illness or the end of a relationship, for example.
Some of the most common symptoms, according to the NHS, are:
- shock and numbness – this is usually the first reaction to loss, which people often talk about as “being in a daze”
- overwhelming sadness and crying
- tiredness or exhaustion
- anger towards the person you’ve lost or the reason for your loss
- guilt – about feeling angry, about something you said or didn’t say, or not being able to stop your loved one dying
These symptoms may not come immediately, or they might surface a long time after a bereavement happens. There is no ‘right’ way to grieve.
How to get support with bereavement
To start, there are a number of hotlines you can call which will help you through your bereavement. You can contact Cruse on 0808 808 1677; they have specialist teams who can help you with whatever you’re struggling with. They’re also updating their resources around coronavirus in particular, so if someone close to you passes away from Covid they will be able to help.
Talking to friends and family is also a good option. At times, you may not know how you feel: talking this through with people you trust can help you process what you’re going through.
Being kind to yourself is also key. If you are going through significant grief, there may be times you don’t want to get out of bed, eat or do anything at all. This is perfectly normal, and you should try your best not to feel frustrated with yourself or push yourself too hard to do anything you feel you ‘should’ be doing but aren’t up to.
However, you may also want to create a short routine. This doesn’t have to be anything too taxing or complex – it could be something as small as getting out of bed at a certain time or trying to eat at least a few times a day. Again, it’s important you don’t push yourself too hard and give yourself the space to grieve. But creating some structure in your day may make things easier.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. If things are getting really hard, you may want to contact your GP; updated telephone opening hours should be on their website. They may be able to signpost you to specialist services. If you already have a care coordinator or other support worker, don’t be afraid to ask for support from them.
Get in touch
If there’s anything you think we’ve missed, or you have some tips on how to cope with bereavement, please get in touch.