Coronavirus: Not being able to hug grieving friends is heartbreaking – Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews could not attend the funeral of a friend’s elderly relative and also watched another on a webcast, unable to comfort those present.

The size of funeral services has been reduced as part of efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19
The size of funeral services has been reduced as part of efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19

I’ve had news of a few deaths recently and I’ve felt completely helpless because I’ve been unable to comfort anyone who needs it or receive comfort during a difficult time.

I have friends with elderly relatives who have passed as well as people I’ve known pass suddenly which has been heart-breaking.

It’s been a very surreal experience in these times. I was unable to attend a friend’s elderly relative’s funeral and be there to support her as she told me they were only allowed immediate family.

I felt awful not being able to go, I know many of our circle felt bad as I spoke with others who wanted to go.

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However, even more painful was not being able to show respect to someone I’d known who’d passed recently and instead joined the funeral through a webcast.

It felt very strange as I watched on, all alone and having a cry. I looked on at the people who were the immediate family of the person who passed and how I wished so much that I was able to offer comfort.

It’s probably been the hardest part of what is happening in the world just now for me. I’d seriously underestimated the impact of not being able to comfort each other in our times of need. The lack of human contact, a hug, a face-to-face conversation and an embrace are all things that I’ll never take for granted ever again.

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It was so difficult to watch on and see a scattering of people spread out at a service, knowing everyone there stood in excruciating pain yet nobody could reach out to comfort each other. Screw you coronavirus for taking away our ability to comfort and connect. You won’t beat us, we’ll all be hugging each other like nobody’s business when this is all over! Screw you coronavirus, screw you!