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Calls for more aid as grieving made more difficult amid pandemic

Last Updated May 15, 2020 at 11:44 am PDT

A director with the Victoria Hospice, says the lack of funerals during the pandemic is making grief even more difficult. (Courtesy Victoria House)
Summary

The Canadian Grief Alliance is a new group asking the federal government to invest $100 million

The lack of funerals during the pandemic is making grief even more difficult: hospice director

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Grieving is difficult at the best of times, now imagine what it’s like when you can’t say goodbye to your loved ones.

The Canadian Grief Alliance is a new group asking the federal government to invest $100 million in community grief programs.

Marney Thompson, a director with the Victoria Hospice, says the lack of funerals during the pandemic is making grief even more difficult.

“One of the really important things about funerals is that it, in a way, it introduces the bereaved person to their community, as a bereaved person and is a way of signalling, ‘I’ve had this really impactful, significant loss and I need care and attention,” she said.

Health Canada says it’s looking into more supports but its recently launched Wellness Together Canada portal could provide grief support.

“This is the hidden tragedy in the current crisis, but one that will also have long term implications for many individual Canadians as well as our health care systems and the economy” said Paul Adams, spokesperson for the Alliance.

“Many people are now facing the deaths of loved ones, isolated from networks of family and friends that normally help people get through such heart-wrenching moments in their lives. Unless we step up and help people now, we will be dealing with the human toll for many years to come.”

The alliance is asking the federal government, in addition to $100 million in grief supports over the next three years, for $10 million in research. It is committed to working with governments to ensure the necessary supports are in place to help Canadian to heal.