Grieving in isolation - could not attend funeral

Good evening all,
I am new here. I assume the fact you are reading this means you have lost someone - I am sorry you find yourself in this situation. I hope you find support and solace in this difficult time.

My father died of lung cancer two weeks ago. Today was his funeral in the country of my birth. Due to the Covid pandemic, I did not attend his funeral, and was not with him and my family throughout his illness. The last time I saw him was in January.

I suppose I am coping reasonably well. I am still working, although I struggle to focus sometimes (I work from home in a full-time role), I occasionally manage to complete a housework task, I get some sleep. And because I make sure my husband has healthy, nutritious meals in between his shifts, I also eat well once a day. Although the fact that my hands are shaking as I write this probably suggests I still have a long journey ahead of me.

I have only very few family members and a very small support network in the UK. My husband works in a demanding role in public services that has a high risk of Covid exposure, hence I am also more likely to be exposed or a carrier. The area I live in is in local lockdown and I do not drive. So it is difficult for me to access support or see anyone, as I don’t want to put other people at risk. I would be grateful to hear from others in a similar situation. What has helped you to grieve in isolation?

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I’m so sorry to hear to hear about the death of your father and that you couldn’t go to his funeral due to the pandemic and living in a different country. The isolation of lockdown, and the impact on people being able to attend funerals or say their goodbyes has created an added layer to so many people’s grief.

It sounds as though you are feeling really alone at the moment and I hope it helps even a tiny bit to have joined this site and be able to read posts from others in similar situations. Hopefully you will get some further replies to your post soon but, in the meantime, I just wanted to point you in the direction of some conversations that might be relevant to you.
@FelixtheCat posted Mum died and I live abroad
@ALR1 posted Losing my Dad in lockdown
@Lauren505 posted Losing my Dad in lockdown

Hello Galar,
I’m so sorry to read about your father. I’m in a similiar situation – I live in the UK and my mum lived in Australia. I planned her funeral by email but it had to be cancelled due to strict lockdown in Australia at the time. I also have none of mum’s family around me. I’ve posted elswhere that two things that have helped me are: (1) going for long walks, breathing deeply and taking in nature; and (2) looking at photos of Mum, reading her emails/letters, writing down her life history and making a list of the things she used to say. I’ve been emailing other members of the family to find out more about her childhood and our family tree. It helps me to remember Mum in as much detail as I can. I also remind myself how lucky I am to have her as my mum. She lives in me.

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Dear FelixtheCat,
thank you so much for taking the time to write some kind words. It is much appreciated.
I am so sorry you lost your mother under such difficult circumstances. I have relatives in the country where my father lived, who are taking care of all the administrative tasks and details. I can’t even imagine how challenging it must be to do all this via email!
Going for a walk is good advice, thank you. I haven’t left the house since March due to the pandemic. Many people in my local area do not observe social distancing, hence I was concerned about the transmission risk to myself and to them. But now that we know transmission outdoors is lower, I think I’ll put on a mask tomorrow and stroll up our local mountain.
Do you have a garden? I have found, like you, that contact with nature helps, and gardening is also very soothing.
I think I will speak to some relatives so I can have a picture of my father printed and framed, to put on our picture wall in the house. Thank you for inspiring me to do those things.

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