Message from The Child Bereavement Trust
Covid-19: supporting bereaved children and young people
The outbreak of Covid-19 means that many aspects of children’s lives are changing. School is closed for many, lots of parents are working from home, and families are having to spend time apart when they would like to be together. The news is full of talk of the virus and the effect it is having.
Many children will have questions and worries about the virus, but those who have experienced the death of someone important or who have an ill family member might be particularly worried. This page has some tips about supporting bereaved children with worries and concerns about the virus.
- Child Bereavement UK have made a short film about supporting bereaved children during the outbreak
- Winston’s Wish have produced guidance on talking to bereaved children about coronavirus
- Cruse Bereavement Care have produced some tips about talking to children among their wider resources about grief and coronavirus.
“For all mankind, living becomes dying; death is the inevitable consequence of living. Yet inevitability does not bring acceptance, willingness, or comprehension”
No two people react to dying or death in exactly the same way. Yet, like the psychological events of dying, grief, which is a psychological response, embraces certain characteristic changes such as the experience of the pain of grief or the adjustment to an environment without the deceased.
Additional factors may further complicate the grieving process will be determined by the personality of the bereaved, for example previous major loss or difficulty in expressing feelings. The relationship of the bereaved with the deceased must also be considered. Finally the nature of the death may affect the bereaved.
Cancel Help’s bereavement support service will take all of these factors into account in supporting a bereaved relative, friend or carer. The aim of the service is to:
- Help to understand and come to terms with the loss;
- Help to identify and express personal feelings regarding the loss;
- Offer support and reassurance of their sanity, and assistance in interpreting ‘normal’ behaviour;
- Give sufficient time and space for grief, and ultimately to reassess and redirect future life without the deceased;
- Give the opportunity and encourage the making of personal decisions about the future.
Cancer Help’s bereavement support service offers a person-centred approach to bereavement following the death of a person through cancer, or pre-bereavement support for those whose loved on has a terminal cancer diagnosis. “Counselling developed from the belief that the best way of healing the emotional distress people suffer is found in each individual.” (Carl Rogers)
The service is provided by a skilled team of staff. The bereaved are invited to visit Cancer Help, though in exceptional circumstances domiciliary visits would be agreed in consultation with the individual’s GP.
The help provided by Cancer Help may include individual counselling, group support, and family support.