The Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland has produced a booklet to help those grieving for loved ones who’ve lost their lives during the Covid-19 crisis. The pamphlet, ‘Grief and Bereavement during the Covid-19 Pandemic’, is written for those mourning the loss of a loved one and those comforting the bereaved.
The Public Health Agency says grief is difficult and painful at any time, and the COVID-19 pandemic may present additional challenges to the process, because of self-isolation and social distancing from friends and family.
The new booklet explores the process of grieving and directs the bereaved to individuals and organisations who can provide counselling and assistance.
The Rev Canon David Ferry, who is part of the Derry and Raphoe Diocese’s team of hospital chaplains, has welcomed the new publication. “The booklet is full of very practical advice presented in a very sensitive manner,” Canon Ferry says. “It will be very useful for anyone who has lost a loved one to Covid-19 because the circumstances they find themselves in are quite unlike anything we have experienced before.
“The health and safety guidelines which have been implemented make it virtually impossible to grieve in the manner we had been accustomed to,” Canon Ferry says, “and that makes the whole process of bereavement so much harder than it already is. This booklet will be a practical comfort to anyone who’s mourning a loved one. It’s also an invaluable resource for those like myself – chaplains, counsellors, health professionals – who are doing our best to help the bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances.”