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The University of Southampton
Enabling ServicesPart of Student Services

Coping with bereavements

Published: 4 May 2020
Red autumnal leaves

Suffering a bereavement at any time is one of the most difficult things to come to terms with. A bereavement will especially be difficult for those who are bereaved during the current coronavirus outbreak. They may find that they had little time to prepare for their loved one’s death, an inability to be with their loved ones due to risk of spreading infection, an inability to say goodbye after death due to funeral restrictions and many other issues that mean coping with grief will be challenging during these times.

Any loss of life is tragic, but these losses are happening under very difficult circumstances. People will be cut off from their usual support networks during this time, so it is especially important to seek support. If people are isolating with their families, keep talking to them and support each other. If they are separated, it is important to reach out to family and friends via  phone and online.

If someone grieving wants some specialist support, Cruse have a free helpline and have created some resources specifically to share how grief may be affected by the pandemic.  These could be really helpful to reassure those grieving that what they are feeling and experiencing is to be expected.  The Bereavement Trust and Sudden also both have helplines available at different times during the day.  There’s no right or wrong way to feel and someone who is grieving may find that these feelings aren’t there all the time and can come about unexpectedly.  This is normal and so it’s important to seek support.


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