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Image / Editorial

Irish Hospice Foundation launches national bereavement support line

by Jennifer McShane
09th Jun 2020

The national bereavement support line is the first of its kind in Ireland 

As we mourn and grieve the loss of those we love so dearly, many of us would ever have never have thought we’d see the day when we can’t attend their funeral. That we were not allowed to physically present to say our goodbyes, to celebrate the life they lived for fear of spreading Covid-19, felt as unnatural to us as the virus itself.

We had no choice but to adjust to a different kind of bereavement. To help as we adjust to a life post-pandemic, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has announced a new national bereavement support line to offer assistance to those grieving during the Covid-19 crisis.

It is a service which is much needed. Until recently, funerals could have no more than 10 people in attendance, and this has only been increased to 25 since June 8th. Even then, social distancing must be adhered to, so we can’t even come together as we once did. As a result, many people are grieving in isolation.

“You are not alone”

“Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time,” they said.

“While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly”. 

“In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times.”

The support line, is now available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. It aims to provide comfort and emotional support to people who are grieving, as well as information on practical supports.

It also offers support to employers who want to inform the care their workplace can offer to bereaved colleagues.

The service is confidential and is free of charge. Call 1800 80 70 77.

A series of resources on grief and loss is also available on the foundation’s Care & Inform hub here.

Main photograph: Unsplash

Read more: Delayed grief: ‘I pretended I was fine but really I wasn’t’

Read more: ‘There is no template or rulebook when it comes to managing your grief’

Read more: Dealing with grief: ‘One day he went to work and he never came home’