Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) have launched a free bereavement resource pack, ‘Support for Grieving in Exceptional Times’ as COVID-19 deaths in Ireland have exceeded 4,000.
It includes all the resources developed as part of IHF’s Care & Inform hub which was specially created to respond to the needs of those facing dying, death and bereavement during COVID-19 restrictions.
Support for Grieving in Exceptional times includes advice and guidance on acknowledging and coping with grief from a COVID-19 death, what to expect when planning a funeral as well as helping children deal with loss and grief.
The pack includes three resources for those supporting bereaved children:
- Helping children grieve during COVID-19
- Supporting teenagers to grieve during COVID-19
- Finding new ways for children to say goodbye
These resources have been developed with IHF’s Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN). Coordinator of the ICBN is Maura Keating:
“It’s natural to want to protect and shield children when someone dies; however, we need to talk to children to help them feel safer. The best thing to do is give them honest, age-appropriate information about death. It’s painful to see a child upset, but children cope better with sad news when they are told the truth. These resources are centred around adapting and developing new ways around supporting children and each other grieve until the crisis passes.”
IHF runs Ireland’s only national Bereavement Support Line. It’s a freephone service, 1800 80 70 77 and is available Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm. It’s for anyone experiencing grief and loss; a COVID-19 related death or a death from other causes or maybe a previous loss is feeling more difficult during the current restrictions.