[International] Supporting a child with grief and loss during the Covid-19 pandemic

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12 Jun 2020

It's hard to support a child, who lost his/her loved one due to coronavirus. Experts from Parents Helpline share advice to help on these cases.

If your child could not say goodbye to the loved one, they may think that this did not happen at all since it is something unfinished or may feel guilty because they were not present when that person was in need. 

If you’re supporting a child in these incredibly difficult circumstances, it’s helpful to:

  • Acknowledge their feelings
  • Suggest other ways of saying goodbye
  • They are not responsible for not being present
  • Their feelings are okay, whatever they are
  • Offer opportunities to talk about their feelings
  • You will love them whatever happens and you will always listen to their problems

Funerals cannot be held as they normally would be. They can be held with a reduced number of mourners and providing the social distance required.

There are some suggestions for families to follow, as listed below: 

  • Live-stream the ceremony if possible
  • Gather online after the funeral 
  • Find practices to maintain the memory of the person who died

For young people, it is even more difficult to cope with loss. You can try some things to support your child in this situation:

  • Remind them that their family and friends are still there
  • Give them private time and space
  • They can communicate their feelings in various ways: write letters to the loved one, write a diary, paint, sing, create a memory box for items and so on.
  • Come up with activities that can be done during the lockdown, e.g. watching a film, running, cooking, baking.
  • Encourage them to continue these activities if they want to
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