Meeting the tsunami of grief

The following was originally published in the Capital Giving supplement in the Times Colonist on April 25, 2021

News from the bereavement services frontline at Victoria Hospice

When we think about the death of a loved one, most of us picture ourselves at their bedside. We want to be there with our loving presence to comfort and reassure them.

Instinctively, we feel if we are beside them, holding their hands, our loved one’s last days and moments will be eased. They’ll be sure of our love, and how much they matter to us.

Attending to people we love at their death is for many, one of the most meaningful and important moments in our lives. But virtual goodbyes can never replace our loving embrace.

The pandemic has robbed thousands and thousands of these acts of love. That count grows higher every day as waves of the pandemic roll across the country.

Visitor restrictions applied in all health care settings during this pandemic – while important for everyone’s safety – massively interfere with our ability to demonstrate love at the end of life, and in turn, to grieve.

Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors are seeing first-hand just how devastating the pandemic and its restrictions have been on people experiencing grief and loss.

Vulnerable and marginalised people, and people with pre-existing mental health concerns, are especially at risk of prolonged grief now. Even well-resourced people who might normally navigate grief with the informal support of friends and family and the comfort of community rituals are now seeking professional bereavement support and counselling.

The agony of separation from loved ones at the end of life has triggered a tsunami of grief in the community. And that tsunami is right at Victoria Hospice’s front door.

Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors are responding to this unprecedented need.

They walk alongside people with support for each person’s unique path in bereavement.

But they need your support. With your help, people in grief can access the expert bereavement educational programs, professional counselling, and support groups they need right now. Donate today.News from the bereavement services frontline at Victoria Hospice