Coping with bereavement during coronavirus

Coping with the death of someone close to you from pancreatic cancer is hard. The restrictions from coronavirus may have made this even worse.

Pancreatic cancer can grow and spread quickly, and you may not have had much time to come to terms with their diagnosis before being told they only had a short time to live.

If you lived with the person with pancreatic cancer, you may have taken on a lot of caring responsibilities during coronavirus. Family and friends may not have been able to visit you or provide as much support as they normally would due to restrictions. It may have been particularly difficult not being able to see those close to you through this time. If you didn’t live with the person with pancreatic cancer, you may be struggling if you weren’t able to spend as much time with them as you wanted towards the end, or to say goodbye properly.

You may be left with feelings of numbness, shock, anger or disbelief. If you live alone, you may be feeling lonely and isolated.

You may also have been spending a lot more time with your household over the last few months. Whilst this may have provided comfort, it may also have had its challenges. For example, you may not be used to spending so much time together. This can cause tensions, especially if you are all dealing with increased emotions. If you have children, they may be struggling with the changes in routine, as well as their grief.

What can help? 

First of all, remember that grief is a process. It will take time for you to come to terms with what has happened, so go easy on yourself. Your experience of grief will be very individual to you, and you may react differently or cope in different ways to others. Marie Curie have more information about grief and how you might feel.

Talking to others

People often find it helps to talk about how they’re feeling. Talking to friends and family can be a big support. There are lots of  ways of being in touch with those close to you at the moment.

  • You can meet up with people you don’t live with, both inside and outside.
  • Speak to family and friends on the phone or use video calls such as Zoom, Facetime or Skype.
  • You can also chat through email, text, WhatsApp or social media. Sometimes writing things down can feel like an easier way to express your thoughts.

For some people though, it can be hard talking to those close to them. There are online communities where you can talk to others who have been bereaved, and who can understand what you’re going through. These communities all have threads specifically about bereavement:

Get support

You can speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line at any time, including after someone with pancreatic cancer has died. They have the time to listen, and can help you talk through your feelings.

There is support available for people dealing with bereavement through charities and the NHS.

Read more about coping with loss

We have more information on how to cope with bereavement, including things that might help and organisations that provide support.

Read more about coping with loss

Updated 5 January 2022