Understanding grief during coronavirus

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It’s always hard to say goodbye to people we love when they die, but coronavirus has made it more difficult than ever.

Normally, if someone’s brother or sister dies they may have a funeral with lots of people there. They are also likely to get lots of hugs and support from family and friends at school.

But if your sibling has died during this crisis, you may feel that new rules have stopped you being able to say goodbye properly.

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If your brother or sister had been ill before they died, you may not have been allowed to visit them.

It may take longer to organise a funeral which may make your parents even more sad or stressed. And since not many people are allowed at a funeral at the moment, you and your family may find it especially difficult. You may find you can’t even hug the friends and family you normally would.

It’s ok to feel upset about all this. It’s a really hard time but it WILL be over one day and then you WILL get the chance to grieve in the way you want or need.

But until then, there are some things you can do to help.

Create a memory box – This is where you put lots of photos and pictures and things that remind you of your sibling in a box and look through it whenever you’re feeling sad. We will even send you a memory box for free by messaging us hello@siblingsupport.co.uk. You can also ask friends to email or text you their memories of your sibling.

Ask questions. It is okay to speak to family and friends about how you feel. You can video call family to talk even if you can’t see them in person. Talking is one of the best ways to help.

Exercise. Whilst there have been restrictions on outside activity, you can still go out to exercise. Exercise releases powerful chemicals, called endorphins, in your brain that can help make you feel good. A run, cycle or walk can be a welcome distraction.

If you’re struggling with how you feel right now, take a look through our website for tips and information as well as reading other people’s stories. And remember, while it can feel lonely going through this during the coronavirus crisis, you really are not alone.

A lot of other charities on our get support page are offering advice and support during this tough time.