An online YouGov survey commissioned by Co-op Funeralcare has shown that only a third of funerals in the UK proceeded with restricted attendance from 23 March until 5 July.
The Guardian has reported that nearly 10 million mourners had been denied the opportunity to say their last goodbyes to loved ones at their funerals, which Co-op Funeralcare suggests will lead to a ‘grief pandemic’, as the mourning period may extend to months and even years for the nation.
59 per cent of bereaved UK adults stated that the lockdown had negatively their grief process, and a further 61 per cent said that there had been nothing to help them grieve.
David Collingwood, Director of Funerals at Co-op Funeralcare explained that a funeral provides a sense of closure for the bereaved and their families. The company had supported the funeral restrictions imposed at the beginning of the lockdown, and while they were tough decisions to make, they wanted to be socially responsible, and help restrict the spread of the coronavirus.
“Tragically, we don’t yet know what the long-term psychological effects will be for families denied the last opportunity to say goodbye, so it is vital that we do everything possible to allow families and individuals to attend funerals, whilst always prioritising the health and safety of our communities,” he said.
Grief itself is not a mental health issue, but it can cause mental health problems for some people. The Co-op has been working with mental health charities Mind and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Inspire to encourage those affected to access support before it has a detrimental effect on their mental health.
Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind said: “If you feel that your mental health is suffering following a bereavement beyond the stages of grief or if you have an existing mental health problem that is being worsened following a bereavement and you’re struggling to cope, it’s important to seek help, speak to a loved one, GP or contact a bereavement charity.”
Making preparations for your passing can help your family through the grief it causes, so get in touch if you need will writing services in Cheltenham.