Bereavement stories

Bereavement can take many different forms and impact people in many different ways. Here, three people who have lost loved ones share their personal stories of bereavement.

Four years ago, I read that word – coronavirus – on my husband's death certificate. So when I heard it again last year, everything came flooding back.

Tanseem and her kids

Covid-19 not only took my parents earlier than expected, it also robbed us of our cultural norms such as being able to have a Nine-Nights, a Jamaican celebration which sees family and friends come in to our homes to pay their respects.

Maureen's family and parents during a birthday celebration

Having to care for Mum at home was not something we ever envisaged happening. There are lots of painful memories in the house from the past year. My dad is intent on gutting everything and I can understand why.

Charlotte and her mum

As Pakistani Muslims, we normally have three days of mourning after someone dies, where we come together as a family with our friends to pray, share memories and grieve. Doing the pared-back funeral rites for my grandmother, it didn't feel real because so many people were missing.

When her grandmother died, it was Fatima's first real experience of grieving for a close relative

Quotes from the Bristol Research Project

(Names have been changed to protect identities)

It is unfortunate to lose a loved one during Covid-19. The bereavement services have been non-existent and being unable to get help is made worse when one has to face the trauma several times of approaching organisations only to receive no assistance.

- Peter

I felt alone and like no one was helping. Eventually, one of the GPs invited me into the surgery for a chat. That was unexpected but priceless. It helped get a few things off my chest as I've been burdened with so much over the last 10 months.

- Tony