The Irish Hospice Foundation has launched a free bereavement resource pack – ‘Support for Grieving in Exceptional Times’ – to help those living with loss during COVID-19 restrictions.

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 the pandemic 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.  

Orla Keegan, IHF’s Head of Education and Bereavement Services, said: “The pandemic restrictions make everything seem strange, with normal routines disrupted. This is especially the case for people bereaved during this time, who find themselves planning a funeral and trying to cope with the loss of an important person in their life. Our hope for this pack is to provide information and assurance for people who are bereaved and some insights for those who want to help them.”   

The pack also includes resources for those supporting bereaved children as the response to the pandemic continues, helping children and supporting teenagers to grieve during COVID-19, and finding new ways for children to say goodbye. 

These resources have been developed with IHF’s Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN, and Maura Keating, ICBN co-ordinator, said: “It’s natural to want to protect and shield children when someone dies. The best thing is give them honest, age-appropriate information about death.

“Children cope better with sad news when they are told the truth. These resources are centred around adapting and developing new ways to support children and each other grieve until the crisis passes.” 

IHF also runs Ireland’s only national Bereavement Support Line. This freephone service – 1800 80 70 77 – is available Monday to Friday (10am-1pm) for anyone experiencing grief and loss.