Bereavement on the increase through lockdown

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Phone calls to Cruse Bereavement has increased by 68% during the pandemic / Credit Simi

A bereavement charity has seen calls rise by almost 70 percent during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cruse Bereavement, a charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, had a 68% increase in calls to its helpline than in 2019. The charity offers support, advice and information to anybody dealing with grief and bereavement.

Since the first recorded Covid-19 deaths in March 2020, Liverpool has had over 4,400 deaths which has caused much devastation and grief to people in the city. The increasing rate of infection and fatalities placed Liverpool in tier three before the third national lockdown began on January 5.

A spokesperson for Cruse Bereavement said: “Grieving at any time is difficult, but it is particularly difficult to be bereaved at the moment during a global pandemic.

“There are no hugs or comforting arms to help ease the pain. Many of those bereaved during Covid-19 were not able to see their loved ones before they died.”

Over 4,000 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Liverpool since March 2020.

With social distancing still in place, grieving has been made more difficult for those who have lost a loved one. Bernie Thomas, an End of Life Facilitator from Liverpool, explained how communication is still vital despite the pandemic.

He said: “Without conversations, people can feel isolated, they can feel shut out, left out of social circles and distanced from their communities because we are a multicultural society.

“What we need to do is to encourage people to communicate. What we know is communication around death and dying supports families through the grief process.”

Mr Thomas also explained how not opening up about how you feel during grief can cause harm.

He said: “We see it all too often that when people don’t talk, especially the younger generation, the children, they can go into isolation and cause self-harm to themselves. We know that bereavement is on the increase. We see it every day in the local hospitals and local charities who are inundated.

“But we also see, sadly, an increase in suicide, especially against young men who fail to talk about death and dying and their feelings.”

For help and support during bereavement, you can visit the Cruse Bereavement website.

Listen to End of Life Care Facilitator Bernie Thomas talk about why communicating during grief and bereavement is important >>>

About Brendan Thomas, JMU Journalism