NHS Lothian

Bereavement during coronavirus

2 min read

Losing a loved one is hard at any time. Bereavement and grief during a period of isolation, filled with restrictions and limited contact with family and friends can make coping with loss much harder.

A big part of the process of grieving is within the rituals we have in coming together with people, having a funeral and spending time with loved ones. Not being able to be together and in close proximity to our support systems can make the coping process harder. You may feel like you didn’t get to say goodbye in the way you would have wanted because of Covid-19. If there was a funeral, you may not have been able to attend. Or if you did, others might not have been allowed to.

Emotionally, you may be feeling numb, angry, frightened, disorientated, overwhelmed, depressed, guilty or confused. These are all normal reactions, so please don’t be telling yourself that there’s a right way to do this.  You’ll grieve in your own way, at your own pace.

You may be feeling lonely and isolated. Not being able to see your loved ones like you normally would, get support from them or support them, in ways you usually would is very challenging. Try to connect with people in different ways.

Try to remember that the current situation is not your fault. A lot of things have been out of your control during the pandemic. You are experiencing a normal response to very difficult circumstances.

If you are finding it hard to find the support you need from family and friends, there are bereavement charities and organisations that can help.

  • The charity Marie Curie has created a video providing advice on coping with grief during coronavirus, click here
  • Cruse bereavement care has also developed resources on bereavement and grief during coronavirus. You can access them here.
  • AgeUK also have helpful information about managing grief during the pandemic. You can access it here
  • PETAL (People Experiencing Trauma and Loss) is offering bereavement counselling to anyone bereaved by COVID-19. You can phone them on 01698 324 502 or email info@petalsupport.com and you’ll find more information on their website here.

The way that grief affects children and young people can be very different from the way it affects adults, so knowing what to say or where to find the right services can really help. A useful website for children, young people, parents and professionals is: www.childbereavementuk.org.


For more sources of support, have a look at the ‘Support’ tab in Loss and Bereavement.




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