Letter to Editor: On Dying Matters Awareness Week

Charity / Sun 10th May 2020 at 09:41am


DYING Matters Awareness Week takes place next week (11th – 17th May) and is usually a chance for St Clare Hospice, along with hundreds of other organisations around the country, to reach out to our local communities and help them to begin to explore their feelings around death, dying and loss – a subject which most of us normally shy away from.

But this year, as we all navigate our way through a widespread pandemic of the Covid-19 virus, it is clear that rather than being a ‘hidden’ subject, death is already at the forefront of our minds.

With daily news reports on the number of people who have died from coronavirus, and all of us knowing someone who has been affected, we can see that more than ever our role as a local hospice is to offer support to those feeling the impact of loss and bereavement.

That is why this Dying Matters week I want to highlight to your readers the support that St Clare Hospice provides free of charge to local people who are experiencing bereavement. Coping with bereavement and loss is always difficult, but in the current climate, it will be affecting people harder than ever.

People are grieving in isolation, they may have been unable to attend the funeral of their loved one, or to meet up with their friends and family to support each other after someone’s death. Now, more than ever, our bereavement support is vital to local people.

Throughout Dying Matters week we will be sharing advice and support on our social media channels around coping with death and bereavement during the Covid-19 outbreak, and how you can support your family or friends who are grieving at this time.

Also, the team at St Clare Hospice have been working hard to diversify the bereavement support we offer local people, and I am delighted that very soon we will be launching a range of virtual support to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one – whether from Covid-19 or not – and no matter how long ago.

We hope that this support will help to connect local people with others who have had a similar experience to themselves, and through connecting and sharing, they will be able to support one another around coping with grief and loss. Keep an eye on our social media channels where we will be launching these new virtual bereavement support services very soon.

To find out more about St Clare Hospice’s free bereavement support call 01279 773762 or visit stclarehospice.org.uk/bereavement-support

Sarah Thompson, Chief Executive, St Clare Hospice

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