Grief and Bereavement and COVID-19
Resources for Practitioners and the public

With rapidly increasing death tolls, profound changes to funeral practices, record-breaking job losses and increasing social isolation, the community is grappling with making sense of these seismic changes in their lives. With this crises producing distress and anxiety through our communities, now it is the time to educate the public on grief and bereavement related to COVID-19 and the unprecedented reactions this virus is going to cause across the world.

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement have put together these resources to share how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic.

Living in Uncertain Times 

As human beings, we like certainty, despite never truly being able to obtain it. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is shining a spotlight on our uncertainty and generating feelings of anxiety and fear. This can lead to significant emotional distress. When coupled with an existing bereavement; feelings of grief can become more pronounced.

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Supporting Children during the Coronavirus

Due to the uncertain and changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, anxiety and stress can often be high among children and families. Helping children manage anxiety requires calmly communicating factual information, without raising unnecessary alarm. It is important that children understand the potential risks of the disease and the recommended guidelines to avoid spreading the virus. Listening and recognising your child’s concerns, without panic, is crucial.

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Social Support and Bereavement during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we are increasingly isolated from normal activities that bring us into contact with others. Going to work, shopping, visiting the library or making arrangements to catch up with friends and family are impacted by the need for personal distancing and social isolation. In addition to these daily life changes, each day brings new and distressing information that adds another layer of anxiety.

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Funeral Support and Physical Distancing

With the increase of the Coronavirus pandemic, physical distancing is having an impact on how funerals are conducted and the participation of mourners. The Australian Government has increased physical distancing rules. This may mean that more people may be unable to attend a funeral or that more people may choose to hold a private funeral and or cremation. When you can’t attend a funeral, you can still show your support to grieving family and friends.

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