Coronavirus

59% of UK mourners negatively affected by lockdown, study suggests

Some 59% of bereaved UK adults said their grief process has been negatively affected by the lockdown.

According to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by Co-op Funeralcare, shows that in the weeks following the start of the UK’s lockdown on 23 March, 47% of bereaved adults in the UK have been denied their final farewell.

The research revealed 9.7 million mourners have been denied the opportunity to say their last goodbye at their loved one’s funeral.

A further 61% of bereaved UK adults, who have experienced a bereavement during lockdown, said that nothing has helped them to grieve.

When asked about the most important way to say goodbye, 42% of UK adults chose being present when their loved one passes away, whilst 33% chose attending a funeral or memorial service

The survey revealed that 37% of mourners have been unable to pay their respects by attending a funeral service, whilst 45% of people said the funeral went ahead, or will go ahead, with restricted attendance in person only.

David Collingwood, director of funerals at Co-op Funeralcare said: “A funeral provides a sense of closure for bereaved families and is very often the start of the grieving process. 

“Sadly, the recent restrictions mean an estimated 243,000 bereaved families have been denied the right to say goodbye to their loved one in the way they would have wished. We completely supported the need to introduce these restrictions at the beginning of the devastating coronavirus pandemic in the UK.”

He added: “We had to make some tough but responsible decisions to protect our colleagues and clients, and to fulfil our social responsibility of slowing the spread of the disease.

“Tragically, we don’t yet know what the long-term psychological effects will be for families denied the last opportunity to say goodbye, so it is vital that we do everything possible to allow families and individuals to attend funerals, whilst always prioritising the health and safety of our communities.”

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