Supporting someone bereaved while social distancing restrictions are in place

If you are not living with the person or people you are helping, you will face practical challenges during times of social distancing.

Many people who are bereaved, although not all, value face to face support, and hugs from people they love.

In a situation when this is not possible, providing support by phone, video call and messaging may be the only option.

It can be very comforting and prevent someone feeling isolated

  • As well as phones, video calls via WhatsApp or Zoom often work well – available app and desktop versions.
  • Such systems also have messaging services, and there are many other messaging services available that work well.
  • What you choose will depend on what the bereaved person is most comfortable with, and what you both have available to you.
  • Try to arrange more than one way of talking to each other, in case one method doesn’t work.
  • Try to arrange particular times to talk, and how long you will be available for. Then it doesn’t come as a disappointment when you don’t call, or have to leave a call.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced sudden bereavement, Sudden can help. Call us on 0800 2600 400 or contact us at and we’ll arrange for a dedicated caseworker to call you back. We help from day one, onwards, for the first ten weeks of bereavement, when people are often in extreme need of care and support, suffering from shock and huge change in their lives.

Sudden is reliant on donations. We are a charity-run service. If you’d like to contribute to our crucial work, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, then please donate to Sudden. Sudden is run and hosted by Brake, the road safety charity.