Migrant Family Support

Coronavirus: Support Group

We are pleased to be able to respond to the demand for a grief support group which will be run online on Zoom starting on 4 June 2020 at 7 pm. It’s really simple to join.

You can find details here on Eventbrite. Registration is necessary.

https://bereavementgroup.eventbrite.co.uk

This is a very distressing time to be grieving and isolated, but we are here to help you. Being bereaved can be one of the most lonely experiences you or someone you love may go through. Africans have a culture of grieving together and staying with the bereaved from the time that their loved one dies until the burial. Social distancing has put a stop to all the natural ways of grieving.the support structure that has been established through years of tradition has been stopped due to the social distancing rules.

Talking, and being with friends and family, can be one of the most helpful ways to cope after someone close to us dies. Even though we cannot meet physically it is still possible to meet virtually and to speak to loved ones over the phone. We encourage  you  to avoid isolating yourself by talking to others and keeping in touch , but we are in a situation where remaining physically isolated from others is sadly necessary – to prevent many more people becoming bereaved.

This isolation can make feelings of loneliness and grief much more intense. It is already a sad time but the physical isolation due to social distancing rules makes it much more challenging .

Social distancing and isolation has meant that bereaved people having to stay by themselves in the same house shared with the person who has died, bringing up painful reminders at every turn.

You might be isolated together with your family, and although this at times may be a support, at other times tensions and resentments can be magnified making it difficult to help each other. Funerals and times of death and mourning tend to evoke many emotions which can cause conflict in family.

Isolation can also make it harder to process grief. At times like this when there is a constant stream of new and distressing information, you can find yourself distracted from dealing with your grief. You might be worrying about the situation as a whole, or worrying about yourself or others.

Practical concerns and considerations may also come up. The person who died may have been a partner, parent or carer and you may have been left without practical or emotional support at a time when you need it most. Friends and relatives who might otherwise have been able to provide practical support, eg help with meals and shopping may also be isolating or preoccupied with their own family’s situation.

Self Help

Firstly, while you may feel alone (and in some cases are, physically) know that you don’t have to be alone with your grief. We are here for you – we have a helpline you can call (03335776639). You can also call or text your friends and family. If you find some of them are not responding in the way you hoped this is often about their own fears and situation. Or they might be feeling helpless, as they know they can’t fix your grief. It can help to explain what you need at this time – whether that is someone to call in the middle of the night or someone you can share funny stories about the person who has died with.

Look after yourself and get rest. This can sound obvious but at these times it is so easy to want to hide away. We are being encouraged to! But do try and get some fresh air or sunlight each day – even opening a window can help. If you are allowed, go for a walk or run, or do some exercise in your home – exercise can be really helpful. Try to keep to a regular routine of getting up and dressed and eating meals at the usual time, whether you are on your own or part of a family group. The structure will help, even if only a little. Migrant Family provides food for families who are self isolating or who are grieving living in the Coventry Area. At times you may not feel up to cooking  and having a meal provided will be helpful. Other areas also have local services that can help.

You may find you have days when you have more energy and the grief isn’t as consuming – this is normal. Some people can feel guilty when this happens, but there is no need. It is all a normal part of grieving. Equally if you are really struggling that is also normal. Please don’t feel guilty or angry with yourself.

It is a journey and we are here to help if you need us. You could also reach out to others who might also be finding it difficult, you may be able to help each other. Seek practical help from friends, family or neighbours.

There is financial help that is available for you from the government and easing for the burden for funeral costs.

https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments/how-to-claim?fbclid=IwAR3zMwOPFc2o1b8pbyX75qC_3rnyzA_fJrW2TUfapxYuEO0jS-Zx0FzNVsY

How you can help another person

You might have friends or family that have been bereaved a long time ago or just today. And you may not know how to best help and support them.

At this time of uncertainty and fear many people may struggle more than usual, but you can help them just by being you. Being the friend, partner, colleague, son they love is all you need to be. Being present with someone in their grief is not easy, but is one of the best gifts you can give to someone you care about.

Stay in contact more – ask whether they prefer phone, text or video call (if they have it). Let them talk about how they are feeling and about the person who has died – talking can be one of the most helpful things after someone dies. You may find this difficult but we are here to help you too. We have done a Live Video with Dr Marwisa which can be found on our website which is www.migrantfamilysupport.co.uk

Our support group starts on 4 June 2020 . Find joining instructions at https://bereavementgroup.eventbrite.co.uk

You can also call our helpline and ask us specific questions about how you are feeling. If you’d rather not call, you can email info@migrantfamilysupport.co.uk . And remember that while you can’t take someone’s grief away, you can make them feel less alone.

How Migrant Family Support Can Help You.

  • Migrant Family Support  is continuing to offer as much support as possible. We offer online telephone service and also you can email us .
  • Our helpline is open from 11am to 3 pm Monday to Friday on 03335776639.
  • There is a National Charity called Cruse which can help you. https://www.cruse.org.uk. Their number is 0808 808 1677

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