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Psychologists offer advice on alternative ways to remember loved ones

14 May 2020

The current pandemic has highlighted the importance of family and friends being able to mark the passing of loved ones, even if we can’t say goodbye in more traditional ways.

The British Psychological Society’s Covid-19 bereavement task force has released a new online leaflet, Continuing Bonds, which suggests alternative ways to help us remember friends and family who die due to the pandemic.

Funerals are currently disrupted, with the number of attendees limited in many cases due to the social distancing restrictions put in place to control the spread of the virus.

It is still important for the grieving process that we are able to mark someone’s passing, particularly if a regular funeral is not possible, and the leaflet gives six suggestions.

They include simple gestures like lighting a candle or planting a seed, alongside ways to make a lasting tribute, such as a virtual memorial, Facebook page or memory box.

Professor Nichola Rooney, chair of the BPS’s Covid-19 bereavement task force, said:

“Sadly many more people than normal are experiencing bereavement right now, and the emotional effects of this are exacerbated by us being unable to see friends and family, or have funerals in the way that we normally do.

It’s crucial that we are able to mark the time of someone’s passing, and I hope that these straightforward suggestions help people to do that, even if it is an interim solution until larger gatherings and memorial services are possible.”

Continuing Bonds is the latest in a suite of resources produced by the BPS’s Covid-19 bereavement task force, all of which can be viewed on our website.

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