A death in your family or in your circle of friends is always difficult. You may feel shocked, distressed, upset and tearful. You may find it difficult to concentrate and to realise what has happened. At times of considerable trauma, people tend to look for certainty. However, at the moment that certainty is not there. This can intensify any feelings of angst or distress. These experiences are particularly confusing and intense in the early days and weeks of a bereavement.

We are used to the rituals that happen around death. Arranging a funeral and meeting with family and friends has found to be helpful. We share stories and memories of the person who died. We laugh and we cry. This helps us pay tribute to the person who died through our mourning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all this. You may not have had the opportunity to say goodbye. At present it is not possible to come together and to gather in one place. It is not possible to have a large funeral. It may not be possible to receive the company of those who wish to offer their condolences. However, we can support ourselves and each other in different ways.

For some, the shock and horror at what has happened may feel over-whelming, so it is essential that you accept support from those around you and perhaps seek help from your GP or local support services at this difficult time. The churches and faith groups in Guernsey will also be able to support you.

There are currently arrangements in place for funerals in order to protect the community from the risk of COVID-19. Please visit the States of Guernsey Loss & Bereavement page for up-to-date guidance and restrictions relating to any funeral service, ceremony, gathering or burial.