A new group to support British Jews who have lost someone due to Covid-19 or its effects is to begin in November.
The Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service (JBCS), which offers confidential counselling to individuals, couples, children, and families in the Jewish community, said it would now begin special sessions for those bereaved during the virus.
The group will meet via Zoom until social distancing is no longer required, and it will be facilitated by two experienced volunteer counsellors.
The charity said referrals had increased by 50 percent since lockdown began in March, and that the new group was “for any death during the period of Covid-19” and not necessarily due to the pandemic.
JBCS manager Trisha Curtis said people had suffered the “trauma of not being able to grieve in the usual way such as Zoom funerals, shivas, and limited numbers able to attend,” with additional complications due to the virus.
“The speed in which people have become unwell and passed has been shocking, with family unable to see their loved ones,” said Curtis. “Social distancing and isolation for our clients has made grieving that much more difficult and complex.”
She added: “The majority of us have never experienced a pandemic so the experience for all of us is unprecedented. The nature of the death is shocking, especially as so many Covid-19 deaths could have been avoided. Many became infected during Purim and, as many people say, lockdown came too late.”
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