Covid19 - how to cope with grief when everything is changing

If your family is bereaved during this difficult time, it can be particularly hard to support the children and young people you care for. You may be struggling with your own grief as well as dealing with the effects of being isolated from other family and friends. You may also be worried that you don't have the answers to the kinds of questions your child is asking. We have put together some information and links you may find useful. We will do our best to keep updating this page as the situation develops.



here to help when you need us

In this time of uncertainty, we would like to reassure families in North Herts & Stevenage that Stand-by-me is here to offer help and support. 


Our Helpline is open (07469 255139), and we are pleased to be able to offer additional telephone support to Parents, Families, Children and Young People. We are also able to provide advice to Professionals via e-mail should this be required.


If you would like to speak to us about supporting a bereaved child or young person please email us at providing your name, telephone number and preferred time to be contacted (morning, afternoon or evening). One of our clinical team will then be in touch.

We have put together some links and information on this page which may be useful at this time. We will keep this information updated so check back regularly if you need support.


When you cant be there to say goodbye

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Funerals are an important way for us to mark the death of someone we care about, but current guidelines around social distancing mean that gatherings such as funerals cannot happen in the usual way. This means that many funerals will go ahead without family and friends present. 

This will be hard for everyone, but especially for children and young people who may struggle to understand what has happened to their loved one and why they are not allowed to say goodbye.


Funeral directors are working hard to involve families in as many ways as possible, without them actually being present. This could include live streaming the service or taking pictures of flowers, the coffin or the place where the service is being held. Visit National Association for Funeral Directors for more help around arranging a funeral at this time. 






Many families are choosing to hold a memorial service as soon as it is safe to do so. You may want to involve your child in helping to plan the memorial so they can add their own special memories. But in the meantime, it can be helpful to create your own opportunities with your child to remember the person who died.

  • Talk together and share memories of the person who died

  • If you have a garden or even just a sunny windowsill, plant some seeds or flowers together in their memory

  • Look at photos together

  • Create a memory box

  • Talk to your child about how they would like to remember the person who died  - they may have some ideas of their own.

Making time to remember together
Holding Hands

We are working hard to ensure children, their families and our volunteers are kept safe in both our online and in our face-to-face groups. Click to see our policies relating to our work online and face-to-face during the coronavirus pandemic.

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If someone you love is dying or has died, 

Sue Ryder’s Online Bereavement Counselling Service provides free, confidential, and professional support over video chat and is available to UK residents over the age of 18

Flower Plant
Support for adults
Free digital book helps explain coronavirus to younger children

Explaining the current situation to young children, without frightening, or confusing them, is a real concern for many parents & carers.


Now, a fantastic digital book, illustrated by renowned children's author & illustrator Axel Scheffler, has been created to help primary-school aged children understand the virus and what is being done to help control it. The book is free to download, so click here for your copy.

Free guides for bereaved families

A new series of guides have been created to help support people that have lost a loved one to coronavirus, or they have died during lockdown because of other reasons.

There are 3 bereavement guides available:

All of the guides are free to download. Click on the titles to get your copy.

Useful links and resources

At such a difficult and uncertain time, it can be helpful to know that there are organisations and resources out there to offer a bit of extra advice and support. We have listed just a few of them below and will continue to add more in the coming weeks

Winston's Wish

Grief Encounter

Childhood Bereavement Network

  • This national organisation has put together Covid-19 pages focusing on supporting bereaved children during the virus outbreak

Anna Freud Centre Coronavirus pages    

  • Pages designed to support young people’s mental health during this time of uncertainty. It contains advice for young people, parents & carers as well as schools & colleges. There is also a fantastic online resource specifically for young people on their dedicated website called on-my-mind

Cruse Bereavement Care

Hospice Foundation

The Good Grief Trust

At A Loss