By Isabella Nikolic For Mailonline
Published: 00:01 BST, 5 September 2020 | Updated: 00:01 BST, 5 September 2020
Grieving families should be allowed to create 'bereavement bubbles' with others in the event of a future coronavirus lockdown, a charity has said.
The Sue Ryder charity, which supports people with terminal illnesses, neurological conditions or who've lost a loved one, claims this would help those who are grieving to feel less alone.
The charity surveyed 503 grieving adults and found that two-thirds (62 per cent) felt isolated since March, while 59 per cent felt as though their grief had been forgotten.
Two-thirds said that being able to form a support bubble would be a 'vital source of support' as they grieved.
Current 'support bubble' rules allow one family household to join up with one single occupant household. For example, a family of four could join up with a grandparent who lives alone, and they would not need to social distance amongst one another.
The charity is urging the Government to loosen the rules in situations where a family member has died so that relatives can support one another.
Grieving families should be allowed to create 'bereavement bubbles' with others during any future coronavirus lockdown, a charity has said (stock picture)
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, is backing the call in a letter to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.
She said: 'Grief is extremely complex – even without the added anxieties of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
'For many people who have been bereaved since lockdown began, this has been an incredibly isolating time.
'The ability to form a bereavement support bubble without the need for social distancing, as single adult households are currently able to do, could make a huge impact for someone who is grieving.'
The research also found some 62 per cent felt the nation has become 'desensitised to death' amid the coronavirus pandemic, in which thousands of people have died.
A tragic 55 per cent feel their loved ones' deaths became 'just a statistic'. It is not clear if this was in relation to Covid-19 deaths or deaths more broadly.
Sue Ryder has seen a spike in demand for its bereavement support services, including online video counselling and an online community forum.
Chief executive Heidi Travis said: 'Integral and deeply personal elements of the bereavement journey have been disrupted for so many over the last few months due to social distancing measures.
'So many people have been unable to say goodbye to those who have died, they have then had to grieve in isolation, without the physical presence or touch of those close to them.'
Matt Williams, head of information and support at terminal illness charity Marie Curie, added: