Celebrant Views, Mental Health & Wellbeing

Dealing with bereavement during lockdown … some (hopefully) useful ideas and links x

The loss of someone you love is never easy.

The loss when you can’t be with others facing the same grief is unbearable.

Add to that, not being able to properly say goodbye…

That is today’s reality.

But there are things you can do.

Its interesting the amount of people who some months after a funeral/wake/life celebration wish they’d said or done things differently,  or additionally.

Under normal circumstances, I would recommend a remembrance celebration some time later, after the original funeral, when the grief has moved into something more settled and manageable. An anniversary  is often a good time to remember, reflect and memorialise the life of the person who passed away, at a time when you can enjoy the tributes and take more comfort from the solace offered.

With this current pandemic, we are not able to provide the sorry of farewell we might wish for our departed. But here are a few things we can do to prepare ..

1. Contact a celebrant and begin the process of discussing your ideal send off

2 let them help you find the right words, readings, music for when a proper memorial is possible

3. With more time available,  a future date may enable more of those you would like in attendance to make arrangements to be there

4. Ask the relatives and friends of the deceased to write their favourite memory in a letter to you, or send a favourite photo.  Gather these up in a memorial album

5. Ask your celebrant if they will coordinate and  deliver video conference style service as an interim. I for one have adjusted my remember and reflect package to include both this and the future in person service at no extra cost.

6. Use this time to deal with all the practical arrangements. Was there a will? What about social media accounts? Who has power of attorney? These are not ‘fun’ or easy issues to deal with so enlist your support network. Most people have spare time at the moment and being able to help you will help them.

7. There are no rules to grieving, so go with the flow: laugh , cry, eat, sleep, talk, isolate, rage… but remember you are in self isolation NOF social isolation; all those people who would normally be there for you in person, are still there for you. More so, perhaps, as they will all feel as helpless as you. Phone, write, email, facetime, Skype, whatsapp,

8. Dont hold back on talking to doctor, or councillor.  Talk to people.  even if its not directly about the deseased.  When I have a friend who has lost someone I tend to offer myself as a sounding board.  We can talk about anything else if you’d rather, but the door is open for listening, comforting and remeniscing, if and when you want.

The Bereavement Trust  :  0800 435 455  info@bereavement-trust.org.uk

The Support Line : Helpline: 01708 765200 Email: info@supportline.org.uk

Cruse Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677  helpline@cruse.org.uk – they also list all of these wonder support networks …


Cruse Scotland Helpline 0845 600 2227, Admin 01738 444 178


Bereavement Trust Helpline: 0800 435 455, from 6-10pm, 365 days/year

Samaritans: 116 123, open 24hours 365 days/year www.samaritans.org.uk

For children & young people …

Childline: 0800 1111 (24/7) www.childline.org.uk

Papyrus – prevention of young suicide: 0800 068 41 41. www.papyrus-uk.org Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & bank holidays: 2pm-5pm 

For adults concerned about children…

Winston’s Wish, for adults caring for a bereaved child or young person: 08452 03 04 05 9-5pm Monday- Friday www.winstonswish.org.uk

NSPCC, For adults worried about the safety/welfare of a child:  0808 800 5000  24hrs/7days www.nspcc.org.uk

Papyrus – prevention of young suicide: 0800 068 41 41. www.papyrus-uk.org Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & bank holidays: 2pm-5pm 

For bereaved parents…

Miscarriage Association: 01924 200 799   (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm)

Sudden Infant Death: 0808 802 6868, (Mon-Fri,10am-6pm) (Weekends, 6pm – 10pm) www.fsid.org.uk

Compassionate Friends: 0845 123 2304 (10 – 4pm, 7 – 10pm)

Sudden & Neonatal Death (SANDS): 020 7436 5881   (Mon–Fri 9.30–5.30) (Tues & Thurs 6pm – 10pm)

For culturally-specific support or for speakers of other languages…

Muslim Bereavement Support: 020 3468 7333 / info@mbss.org.uk

Bereavement Trust Helplines (6 – 10pm 365 days a year)
Urdu & Gujarati Bereavement Helpline 0800 9177 416
Cantonese & Mandarin Bereavement Helpline 0800 0304 236

For the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans community…

London Friend LGBT helpline: 02078373337  (M,T,W,F, 7.30 – 9:30pm)

For people who have lost their partners…

WAY Widowed and Young (Peer support. Tends to be under 50s): 0300 012 4929


For people who have lost their pets …

Pet Bereavement: 0800 096 6606 (8:30am – 8:30pm)  www.bluecross.org.uk

Cats Protection League Paws to Listen grief support service 0800 024 94 94 www.cats.org.uk/grief

For people bereaved through crime, suicide or accident…

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide: 0844 561 6855. 9–9pm  www.uk-sobs.org.uk

Road Peace (death on the road): 0845 4500 355 (Mon–Fri 9–5pm) www.roadpeace.org

Support after Murder and Manslaughter: 0845 872 3440  www.samm.org.uk

Victim Support Helpline: 0845 3030 9000 (9am – 9pm every day)  www.victimsupport.org

Coroner’s Court Support Service0300 111 2141 (Monday – Friday from 09.00 to 19.00, Saturday from 09.00 to 14.00) Email: helpline@ccss.org.uk Website: https://coronerscourtssupportservice.org.uk

For mental health support…

Saneline: 0845 767 8000 (6pm-10pm) or online support forum  www.sane.org.uk

Mind Infoline:  0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm) www.mind.org.uk 

No Panic: 08001388889  (10am-10pm)

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