CURRENT COVID RULES FOR FUNERALS

Government rules

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There are no legal limits on the number of people who can attend funerals or commemorative events.

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Actual maximum numbers that can attend will be dependent on what the venue can safely allow (see details for Yorkshire crematoria below)

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Symptomatic people should not attend funerals

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People who are self-isolating or who are in quarantine following international travel may be present at a funeral where a legal exemption applies.

Local Crematorium Rules

Cottingley
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Chapel will seat 75 attendees

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Seated attendees only

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Barrier will remain around coffin

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

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Family pallbearers allowed

Huddersfield
Lawnswood
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The main chapel will seat 70 attendees and the overflow, 80 (150 total)

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Seated attendees only

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Barrier will remain around coffin

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

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Family pallbearers allowed

Nab Wood
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No limit on the number of attendees

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Use of masks encouraged

Park Wood
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56 seated attendees allowed

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Chairs are in rows of 4 – these cannot be moved

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Family pallbearing allowed

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

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Barrier will remain around coffin

Rawdon
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The chapel will seat 80 attendees

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Seated attendees only

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Barrier will remain around coffin

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

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Family pallbearers allowed

Scholemoor
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No limit on number of attendees

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Use of masks encouraged

Skipton
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66 seated attendees in chapel only

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No restriction on the amount of attendees outside

Stonefall
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90 attendees allowed inside

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No attendees allowed in foyer

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Additional attendees allowed outside

York
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The White Rose chapel will seat 95 attendees, and the Ebor chapel 25 – no standing attendees allowed

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Meeting room
Tea set

Local Burial Rules

Bradford
Calderdale
Craven
Harrogate
Kirklees
Leeds
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Hole for coffin
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Registering a death

General Government Guidance
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If the person died at home or in hospital:
A relative should register the death but if this is not possible the following may register

Someone who was there at the time of death

An administrator from the hospital where the person died

Someone who is in charge of making funeral arrangements

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If the person died somewhere other than at home or in a hospital:

A relative should register the death but if this is not possible the following may register:

Someone who was there at the time of death

The person who found the person after they had died

Someone who is in charge of caring for the person after they have died

Someone who is in charge of making funeral arrangements

Bradford
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Telephone 01274 432 151 to book an appointment for the registrar to call you. If the person died in either BRI of AGI you can make an appointment through their bereavement officers. For BRI telephone 01274 364477 and for AGI telephone 01535 652 511.

The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death will be sent directly to the registrar.

Calderdale
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Visit the below link to book an appointment for the registrar to contact you.

https://ebooking.calderdale.gov.uk/eRegistrar/

Registration of death is only being carried out over telephone.

The hospital or GP surgery will scan the registration paperwork to the registrar.

Harrogate
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Use the below link to book an appointment for the registrar to ring you:

https://myaccount.northyorks.gov.uk/registrars/death-booking

Or, call 01609 780780

You will need:

Details about the person that has died

Confirmation that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been emailed to the registrars

A credit / debit card to pay for any death certificates

Kirklees
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No registration of death is to be done in person, only over the telephone

Use the below link to book an appointment for the registrar to ring you

http://zipporah.co.uk/contact

You will need:

Details about the person that has died

Confirmation that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is with the registrar

A credit / debit card to pay for any death certificates

Leeds
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Registering the death by phone

A member of the registrar team will call the next of kin usually within three days of the person’s death and over the course of the phone call they will register the death. If the next of kin is unable to take the call someone else can speak to the registrar – the next of kin can pass the phone to them or they can give the registrar additional contact details. The other person must be:

A relative of the person that has died

The funeral director or someone making the person’s funeral arrangements

York
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Email: [email protected] or call 01904 654477 to arrange an appointment to register a death by telephone; details you must include are:

name of the person who has died

date and place of death

name, contact number and email address of the person registering the death

name of the funeral director (if known)

Registration of deaths is only taking place over the telephone.

The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death will be issued directly to the register office.

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By Jennifer Rawlinson

Jennifer headshot
Mental Health england stat

What is a Mental Health First Aider, and Why are they Important?

Overview of MHFA

Mental Health First Aid goes way beyond providing support in a crisis. And in this article, we are going to look at the many benefits of having a mental health first aider.

Compulsory mental health first aid in every workplace is now a step closer to becoming a legal requirement as Dean Russell MP and Where’s Your Head At? Ambassador introduced his Parliamentary Bill in March 2021 which had no objections, going straight through to second reading.

But what actually is mental health first aid? Like physical first aid, the aims are similar in that it is designed to

Preserve life

Provide comfort

Promote recovery

In addition to this, MHFAs are trained to spot the early warning signs of emerging mental ill-health; develop confidence to have a supportive and proactive conversation; and be confident in guiding someone to the appropriate professional help.

Their role is to listen rather than advise. They do not diagnose. It is about being there in the moment for that person. And it can be really rewarding for the individuals who train in this role and are able to use their skills to support others.

The benefits are wide and varied and encompass a number of the 5 ways to wellbeing (5 things which are proven to improve your wellbeing.) Supporting others links with ‘giving’; it provides a great ‘learning’ opportunity; and very much helps those ‘connections’ and positive relationships within the workplace.

As this starts to drive a supportive culture of openness it starts to encourage more discussion between people and makes them more mindful of checking in on others too. Leading to a happier, and healthier workforce who feel able to open up and ask for help when they need it.

On their training journey they will develop skills such as non-judgemental listening and how to show empathy. These skills can be transferred to many other aspects of work and life too.

The reality is that many people experience mental ill health but simply do not know where to turn for help. They may struggle to open up and ask for that help. Mental health first aiders are another step an organisation can take in moving forward to a culture that is open and supportive of their people and demonstrates that work is a safe place to open up, as well as having a level of support available.

They are an initial point of contact, someone who is trained to listen, but we make the boundaries very clear in our training that they are not a counsellor or therapist. They are there to guide and signpost those people who don’t know where to go for help.

Where it fits- strategy and culture, HSE, and Duty of Care

Mental health first aiders therefore not only are trained in terms of dealing with a crisis, but they are also trained to understand what promotes good wellbeing in an individual and ways of being proactive around this. Having this education makes them perfect fit to support in the delivery of an organisation’s wellbeing strategy. They can lead wellbeing initiatives; open up communication channels and keep those positive messages consistent. As well as educating others around the importance of self-care too.

Signposting is a key part of the role of an MHFA, and this is both internal and external signposting. Internally this could be about the organisation’s Employee Assistance Programme. EAPs are so often under-utilised but they promote great education for employee wellness, as well as support in a crisis. There is usually a very proactive element of an EAP which is often missed in an organisation’s communication to their team. They are a great resource which should be shouted about, yet in reality there tends to be very few employees who really understand what their EAP can provide. Mental health first aiders can therefore promote better the internal support system available. They can be the enabler. Leading to a happier, more well and more productive workforce.

The Heath and Safety Executive highlight that employers have a duty of care to their employees not just in terms of their physical safety, but also their psychological safety.

An employer may also have legal obligations in relation to the Equality Act 2010 in terms of making reasonable adjustments with regards a staff members mental health. Having a good understanding of how different mental health conditions could affect someone day to day can really help make this process much easier and more effective for the team member.

Further benefits 

Being trained in mental health first aid can really assist in the return to work process for someone who has been off with mental ill health. Yarker et al in 2020 identified the following as key drivers which determined how likely an employee was to thrive in the workplace following mental ill health absence leave:

That the person receives non-judgemental support

They have access to health and advice outside of work

They are able to contact specific charities

Given MHFA training encompasses all of the above, it can be an extremely beneficial course for both line managers and HR managers as well as those keen to volunteer (it is important to have a diverse team of MHFAs as this makes them more accessible for others within the organisation.)

Other considerations

When implementing mental health first aiders within an organisation it is important to view them as part of the overarching wellbeing strategy. (We can help with this if it isn’t something you already have in place)

Providing clarity on the boundaries of the role helps the psychological safety of the MHFA as well as manage the expectations of the person needing support.

Consider what support is in place for your mental health first aiders. How often do you check in with them? How do you facilitate the profiling of the role? What other proactive work can they do to support your wellbeing strategy?

What other employee benefits do you offer? It is a great opportunity to review your EAP for example and ensure people do utilise the benefits available to them. For instance, counselling sessions can be available immediately to the employee rather than waiting potentially months through the NHS. This is worth its weight in gold when looking at employee wellness.

Do existing policies and procedures need updating? A great place to start is to review both the employee lifecycle and ‘a day in the life’ of an employee. Taking a look at each stage from recruitment, through to onboarding and beyond highlights many opportunities to shout about the support available. It can aid in attracting the right people to the organisation and can support retention too- all adding to that bottom line.

What does it involve?

The MHFA England mental health first aid course can be run either online (across 4 x 2.5 hour interactive sessions with e-learning) or face to face in 2 days.

To find more about more about mental health first aid or if you have any questions you can contact Jennifer at [email protected] or visit the Flourish In Mind website. 

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By Sarah Clough from Space Fitness & Wellbeing

Sarah in front of wavey background
Woodland

Bereavement can often leave us feeling rudderless and not in control of our lives. We can feel overwhelmed by even the simplest tasks and want to just dive under the duvet and never come out.

I understand how overpowering grief can be and the eternal question ‘What is the point?’. But I also know, first hand, how being active, keeping moving and doing exercise has the power to (if not completely heal) at least help us cope with our loss.

Why is movement and exercise so important?

Stress, anxiety and worry are often by-products of grief but thankfully exercise has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of relieving them and something as simple as a daily walk has the power to transform not only our physical wellbeing but our emotional wellbeing too.

When stress affects the brain the rest of the body is impacted too. But when we exercise, the brain produces endorphins – natural painkillers. Endorphins are also known as the ‘runners high’ because they stimulate the brain in a similar way to recreational drugs but without the harmful side effects. Endorphins give us a feeling of relaxation and optimism.

Stress also causes the release of the body’s stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are the ones known for our fight or flight response, helping us to escape danger such as a speeding car, quickly. The muscles contract, the jaw tenses, the heart beats faster, we breath more rapidly and blood pressure increases. Unfortunately, prolonged periods of stress result in the levels of adrenaline and cortisol remaining high and can actually lead to increased anxiety, depression and even obesity, both directly, by causing people to eat more, or indirectly by decreasing sleep and lack of exercise.

Over time this chronic stress will take its toll on our physical and psychological health.

So, how do we motivate ourselves to move?

How can we make ourselves be active and engage in exercise when it’s the last thing we feel like doing?

Perhaps we need to “fake it ’til we make it”. Pretend to ourselves that this is what we really want to do and eventually one day we realise that we are no longer faking.

Here are a few ideas:

Arrange to walk or exercise with a friend or family member.

If you have a dog then it will need exercising but if you don’t have one, perhaps you can offer to walk a friend or neighbour’s dog.

Join an exercise studio – a little bit more complicated at the moment but there are lots of great online options available.

Join a litter picking group, perhaps a beach or canal clean.

Volunteer to plant trees, lay paths or general conservation.

Check out your local council’s website for volunteering opportunities and to find a list of parks (information for Leeds can be found here).

11 reasons we need to move and exercise

Movement has the power to transform our minds and our bodies.

Movement and exercise help to release our endorphins, our ‘feel good’ hormones and reduce our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

Exercise deepens breathing, relieves muscle tension and induces calm.

Committing to doing a form of exercise each day will give structure to your day.

Exercising outdoors in a natural environment (Green Exercise) has been proven to have a positive effect on self-esteem and improving mood. It has been noticed to be especially beneficial for people struggling with depression and anxiety. If you enjoy solitude then immersing yourself in a forest or walking around a lake could be just what you need.

Making time for yourself. Often there are others we need to care for and we end up neglecting our own wellbeing. Finding time for self-care is not selfish, it is vital.

Exercise will help you to clear your mind by focusing on the natural environment, the particular exercise you are doing or how your body is moving and responding to the exercise.

Exercising as part of a group, whether in person or virtually, will allow you to engage with others without you being the focal point. This way we can ease our way back into social settings without having to engage with others on too personal a level.

With regular exercise our body will start to tone and strengthen and our self image improves.

The discipline of regular exercise can help us to achieve other goals through focus and a sense of achievement.

Regular exercise can improve our ability to sleep which in turn reduces stress. Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga combine fluid movements with deep breathing and mental focus all of which help to induce calm.

Try to commit to just 15-20 minutes of exercise every day but don’t worry if you miss a day. The important thing is to find something that you enjoy doing and can commit to on a regular basis.

Life is precious. The very fact that we mourn the loss of someone is precisely because we know how precious life is. Make the most of yours.

Space Fitness and Wellbeing have recently launched their free Free 5 Day Pilates Fitness Journey – follow the link to sign up.

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By Sarah Clough from Space Fitness & Wellbeing

Sarah in front of wavey background
Woodland

Bereavement can often leave us feeling rudderless and not in control of our lives. We can feel overwhelmed by even the simplest tasks and want to just dive under the duvet and never come out.

I understand how overpowering grief can be and the eternal question ‘What is the point?’. But I also know, first hand, how being active, keeping moving and doing exercise has the power to (if not completely heal) at least help us cope with our loss.

Why is movement and exercise so important?

Stress, anxiety and worry are often by-products of grief but thankfully exercise has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of relieving them and something as simple as a daily walk has the power to transform not only our physical wellbeing but our emotional wellbeing too.

When stress affects the brain the rest of the body is impacted too. But when we exercise, the brain produces endorphins – natural painkillers. Endorphins are also known as the ‘runners high’ because they stimulate the brain in a similar way to recreational drugs but without the harmful side effects. Endorphins give us a feeling of relaxation and optimism.

Stress also causes the release of the body’s stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are the ones known for our fight or flight response, helping us to escape danger such as a speeding car, quickly. The muscles contract, the jaw tenses, the heart beats faster, we breath more rapidly and blood pressure increases. Unfortunately, prolonged periods of stress result in the levels of adrenaline and cortisol remaining high and can actually lead to increased anxiety, depression and even obesity, both directly, by causing people to eat more, or indirectly by decreasing sleep and lack of exercise.

Over time this chronic stress will take its toll on our physical and psychological health.

So, how do we motivate ourselves to move?

How can we make ourselves be active and engage in exercise when it’s the last thing we feel like doing?

Perhaps we need to “fake it ’til we make it”. Pretend to ourselves that this is what we really want to do and eventually one day we realise that we are no longer faking.

Here are a few ideas:

Arrange to walk or exercise with a friend or family member.

If you have a dog then it will need exercising but if you don’t have one, perhaps you can offer to walk a friend or neighbour’s dog.

Join an exercise studio – a little bit more complicated at the moment but there are lots of great online options available.

Join a litter picking group, perhaps a beach or canal clean.

Volunteer to plant trees, lay paths or general conservation.

Check out your local council’s website for volunteering opportunities and to find a list of parks (information for Leeds can be found here).

11 reasons we need to move and exercise

Movement has the power to transform our minds and our bodies.

Movement and exercise help to release our endorphins, our ‘feel good’ hormones and reduce our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

Exercise deepens breathing, relieves muscle tension and induces calm.

Committing to doing a form of exercise each day will give structure to your day.

Exercising outdoors in a natural environment (Green Exercise) has been proven to have a positive effect on self-esteem and improving mood. It has been noticed to be especially beneficial for people struggling with depression and anxiety. If you enjoy solitude then immersing yourself in a forest or walking around a lake could be just what you need.

Making time for yourself. Often there are others we need to care for and we end up neglecting our own wellbeing. Finding time for self-care is not selfish, it is vital.

Exercise will help you to clear your mind by focusing on the natural environment, the particular exercise you are doing or how your body is moving and responding to the exercise.

Exercising as part of a group, whether in person or virtually, will allow you to engage with others without you being the focal point. This way we can ease our way back into social settings without having to engage with others on too personal a level.

With regular exercise our body will start to tone and strengthen and our self image improves.

The discipline of regular exercise can help us to achieve other goals through focus and a sense of achievement.

Regular exercise can improve our ability to sleep which in turn reduces stress. Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga combine fluid movements with deep breathing and mental focus all of which help to induce calm.

Try to commit to just 15-20 minutes of exercise every day but don’t worry if you miss a day. The important thing is to find something that you enjoy doing and can commit to on a regular basis.

Life is precious. The very fact that we mourn the loss of someone is precisely because we know how precious life is. Make the most of yours.

Space Fitness and Wellbeing have recently launched their free Free 5 Day Pilates Fitness Journey – follow the link to sign up.

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By Ben Buddy Slack

Man with beard
The swan song project logo

Songs hold memories. We all have songs that take us back to particular moments in time, first dances, singing along on road trips, concerts with friends. Even the memory of hearing a special song for the first time can stick with us.

Songs are also alive, every time they are sung fresh life is breathed into them. They grow with us, the voices singing them mature and their lyrics can take on new meaning to match our experiences. They accompany us through our lives and are always there when we need them.
I believe everyone has a song, and everyone’s song deserves to be sung. One of my all time favourite lyrics from the great Bob Dylan is “May your heart always be joyful, May your song always be sung and may you stay, Forever Young”. The image of someone’s song always being sung makes me smile.

Since 2017 I have been supporting people dealing with a bereavement to write their own original songs. This can be a way of honouring someone, creating something unique to them that can live on and can also be very therapeutic as a way of processing grief. The songwriting process enables us to reflect on experiences, explore and express our emotions and create something unique to add to someones legacy.

Songs can be about the person’s life, about your relationship to them, about your favourite memories of them, your experience of the bereavement or even their legacy going forward. Songs can be about anything really, the important thing for me is that they are true to the writer in whatever they want to say. People often worry that they can’t write a song, we specialise in making the process easy and enjoyable. All you need are your experiences, your way of using words and your ears. We help with the everything, finding your words, creating some music based on other songs you like and then ensuring your words with the music we have created. You don’t have to sing but if you would like to we are happy to help you do that.
When a song is finished the writer has the choice of keeping that song private and just sharing it with whomever they choose or making the song public and sharing it on our website.

It gives me great joy to hear that songs that have been written through this project regularly get played on anniversaries of peoples deaths, on birthdays, family gatherings and other occasions when we may really miss someone. The vision of The Swan Song Project is a world where everyone’s song may always be sung.

Grief doesn’t have time limits so we are here to help whether your loss is recent or years down the line. If you would like to find out more we would love to hear from you.

Ben Buddy Slack

www.swansongproject.co.uk

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By Lisa Lund, National Bereavement Service

Lisa Lund
National bereavement service logo

For those who want to offer emotional support to someone who is grieving – whether they’re a partner, relative, close friend or colleague – it can be difficult to know what to do or say.

You may ask yourself, what if I say the wrong thing? Could what I say add to their distress? It’s completely normal to feel unsure as to how to support a loved one through a very tough time, and as a result we can feel confused, distanced from the bereaved and our efforts can even feel ineffective.

The good news is there are lots of things you can do to let your loved one know that you’re by their side, from listening to them about their feelings to helping them with everyday tasks.

Here, we’ll have a look at the different ways that grief could affect someone and some common beliefs and misconceptions that people might have about grieving. We’ll also talk you through the ways you can help to support someone in your life who has experienced loss.

 

How does grief affect us?

Grief is a natural response to the loss of a loved one. It’s very common for people to feel shocked or “numb” when they first find out about their loss. Many people experience disbelief or a sense that what’s happened isn’t real.

While each person reacts differently to loss, many people have described feeling strong denial or confusion, while others say they have felt anger, yearning, guilt or sadness.

Most people have heard of the “five stages” of grief, and many of us can even name them. The stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – were first developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a psychiatrist whose work did much to soften the stigma around terminal illness and grief.

The five stages, which were originally developed to describe the emotional journey that patients follow, rather than their loved ones, have become shorthand for what is actually a very complex process.

The five stages of grief don’t typically happen one after the other. In fact, everyone grieves in their own diverse ways and can experience a wide array of emotions. As well as the original five stages, people who are grieving can experience many more emotions and could find themselves “skipping” stages, repeating them or experiencing multiple stages at once.  For example, they might experience an immediate period of melancholy or depression only to later have feelings of anger or denial. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and it’s essential that the bereaved receive support and validation no matter what way they grieve or the timeline the process follows.

 

Supporting the bereaved person

Whether you’re a friend, family member or colleague, you can play an important role in helping the bereaved receive the understanding and support they need. Here are a few key ways to do so…

 

Ask… then listen

Begin with the simplest of questions, ‘How are you?’. If you know the person well you may feel comfortable asking them directly whether or not they want to talk about their feelings.

The bereaved person might find it soothing to discuss their feelings, or share memories of the deceased. And while you may encourage them to speak with you about it, ultimately you should take your lead from them in each conversation. After all, they may want to speak in detail about their feelings, but just as equally they may not.

 

Offer help

Let the bereaved person know you are ready to support them. This could include offering to attend an event held in honour of the deceased, or offering your company on holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas. It may help to be aware of dates and anniversaries which could cause strong feelings to surface so that you can offer support in those times.

Ask if there’s anything they need, and if they seem unsure, you could suggest specific things, such as cooking them a meal or doing their shopping.

 

Be observant

Many people report physical symptoms which come as a result of acute grief, such as stomach pain, loss of appetite, intestinal upsets, sleep disturbances and loss of energy.

Mourning can place significant stress on the body’s natural defence systems, and loneliness and feelings of isolation could worsen existing health issues. As a friend or family member, you may wish to be observant of the physical and emotional health of the bereaved, and gently suggest seeking the help of a doctor if existing health problems worsen or new symptoms emerge.

 

Be patient

Being nudged or pushed to confront many difficult emotions at once can be unnecessarily painful, and put a strain on your relationship with the bereaved. Therefore take a slow and patient approach to supporting your loved one, and remember that processing and healing after loss take a great deal of time. Mourning can progress over months and years. Avoid setting a specific timeline for someone to “move on”, or comparing them with others’ experiences or expectations around grief.

 

Resources that can help

There are many organisations that offer emotional support, and a phone call or online chat following a bereavement.

Many charities and organisations have come under strain during the pandemic, however, either as a result of decreases in funding, an increase in enquiries, or adjustments to new ways of working and/or staffing. NBS has recently launched an all-new grief support and counselling helpline, to help charities and other organisations that have been overwhelmed or lack the resources to offer a full-time support and counselling helpline.

The dedicated free-phone number, giving people direct access to bereavement support, is available from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

For those who prefer not to speak to someone about the difficulties they’re experiencing over the phone, NBS has also introduced a live chat feature on its website. The live chat function automatically appears as a pop-up when a visitor accesses the site and they can choose to get in touch through it, or continue browsing. Providing real-time responses to questions or concerns from the same trained advisors who answer NBS’ phonelines, the live chat facility is an alternative contact method that ensures those in need of help following a bereavement can reach out in a way that’s easiest for them.

No matter how people choose to get in touch, NBS can provide immediate help with support and counselling services developed in partnership with the expert team at St Giles Hospice. On a case by case basis, NBS can provide assessment and signposting to further assistance, which will either be provided by trained specialist bereavement support volunteers, or, where counselling is required, by a BACP-registered practitioner.

Visit the National Bereavement Service’s website

Government rules

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There are no legal limits on the number of people who can attend funerals or commemorative events.

Full circle logo

Actual maximum numbers that can attend will be dependent on what the venue can safely allow (see details for Yorkshire crematoria below)

Full circle logo

Symptomatic people should not attend funerals

Full circle logo

People who are self-isolating or who are in quarantine following international travel may be present at a funeral where a legal exemption applies.

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Local Crematorium Rules

Cottingley
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14 in chapel and 16 outside

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Professional pallbearers only

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No touching the coffin

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Rope barrier around coffin

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Officiant only at lectern

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Any attendee readings must be done from seats

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Seats have been separated

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Curtains to remain open

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Maximum of 6 for ashes scatterings

Huddersfield
Lawnswood
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The main chapel will seat 70 attendees and the overflow, 80 (150 total)

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Seated attendees only

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Barrier will remain around coffin

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

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Family pallbearers allowed

Nab Wood
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No limit on the number of attendees

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Use of masks encouraged

Park Wood
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56 seated attendees allowed

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Chairs are in rows of 4 – these cannot be moved

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Family pallbearing allowed

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

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Barrier will remain around coffin

Rawdon
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The chapel will seat 80 attendees

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Seated attendees only

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Barrier will remain around coffin

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Whilst not required, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask

Full circle logo

Family pallbearers allowed

Scholemoor
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No limit on number of attendees

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Use of masks encouraged

Skipton
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66 seated attendees in chapel only

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No restriction on the amount of attendees outside

Stonefall
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90 attendees allowed inside

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No attendees allowed in foyer

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Additional attendees allowed outside

York
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The White Rose chapel will seat 95 attendees, and the Ebor chapel 25 – no standing attendees allowed

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Meeting room
Tea set

Local Burial Rules

Bradford
Calderdale
Craven
Harrogate
Kirklees
Leeds
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Hole for coffin
Rock with flowers on

Registering a death

General Government Guidance
Full circle logo

If the person died at home or in hospital:
A relative should register the death but if this is not possible the following may register

Someone who was there at the time of death

An administrator from the hospital where the person died

Someone who is in charge of making funeral arrangements

Full circle logo

If the person died somewhere other than at home or in a hospital:

A relative should register the death but if this is not possible the following may register:

Someone who was there at the time of death

The person who found the person after they had died

Someone who is in charge of caring for the person after they have died

Someone who is in charge of making funeral arrangements

Bradford
Full circle logo

Telephone 01274 432 151 to book an appointment for the registrar to call you. If the person died in either BRI of AGI you can make an appointment through their bereavement officers. For BRI telephone 01274 364477 and for AGI telephone 01535 652 511.

The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death will be sent directly to the registrar.

Calderdale
Full circle logo

Visit the below link to book an appointment for the registrar to contact you.

https://ebooking.calderdale.gov.uk/eRegistrar/

Registration of death is only being carried out over telephone.

The hospital or GP surgery will scan the registration paperwork to the registrar.

Harrogate
Full circle logo

Use the below link to book an appointment for the registrar to ring you:

https://myaccount.northyorks.gov.uk/registrars/death-booking

Or, call 01609 780780

You will need:

Details about the person that has died

Confirmation that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been emailed to the registrars

A credit / debit card to pay for any death certificates

Kirklees
Full circle logo

No registration of death is to be done in person, only over the telephone

Use the below link to book an appointment for the registrar to ring you

http://zipporah.co.uk/contact

You will need:

Details about the person that has died

Confirmation that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is with the registrar

A credit / debit card to pay for any death certificates

Leeds
Full circle logo

Registering the death by phone

A member of the registrar team will call the next of kin usually within three days of the person’s death and over the course of the phone call they will register the death. If the next of kin is unable to take the call someone else can speak to the registrar – the next of kin can pass the phone to them or they can give the registrar additional contact details. The other person must be:

A relative of the person that has died

The funeral director or someone making the person’s funeral arrangements

York
Full circle logo

Email: [email protected] or call 01904 654477 to arrange an appointment to register a death by telephone; details you must include are:

name of the person who has died

date and place of death

name, contact number and email address of the person registering the death

name of the funeral director (if known)

Registration of deaths is only taking place over the telephone.

The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death will be issued directly to the register office.

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By Lucy Clay

Art work
Hand in sleeve

The want to live and create sustainably envelops Francesca’s work; this much is evident to anyone that glances at her Instagram and website posts where photographs of delicately embroidered fabrics and organic forms in stitching are accompanied by comments frequently referencing her natural inspiration. These organic forms in thread have not come about for aesthetics’ sake alone; Francesca is part of a movement that is challenging the way we produce and consume garments. Through her studies at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, from which she has recently graduated, Francesca’s mission to challenge the impact our consumption has on the planet has been guided, strengthened, and found its voice in the creation of sustainable and eco-conscious burial garments presented in her final year’s project. I spoke with her about this project, her impressions (as a textile artist and relative outsider) of the death industry, and her plans for the future.

 

Could you tell us a little bit about your burial garment project?

Every life has an ending, and for humans this is a heavily contemplated advent. However, even with the existing sustainable options for burials, the materials that that body is clothed in are not often considered. It is estimated that 65% of all fibres used in the clothing industry are made from synthetic material. Long after a body has decomposed these materials remain in the ground and take hundreds of years to break down, releasing harmful chemicals in the process. Using the slow and thoughtful process of embroidery, I have designed textiles for burial-wear with fabric that is eco-friendly to produce and 100% decomposable, such as plant and animal-based materials and natural dyes. Bio-degradable matter, once dead and decomposing, adds nutrients to the ground which allows for new life to grow. This life cycle closely connects people to nature and provides the visuals for my design. I have drawn from disintegrated leaves as a reminder of our place in the environment, one that we must look after for the next generations in the cycle. Some of the techniques and materials used are inspired by traditional Irish crafts and the ancient burial rituals of my predecessors. Textiles have great significance within society, throughout history and across cultures; they tell stories, provide warmth and comfort and play an important role in specific occasions and rituals. New life is often accompanied by textiles, the swaddling blanket helps the baby feel safe and contained as it adjusts to life outside the womb. The same is sometimes done with the deceased; as a salve, a cover, for remembrance and memorial. My project aims to open the discussion around death and the rituals and practices that surround it. With beautiful, thoughtful textiles in natural materials we can return loved ones to the earth with ceremony that has aligns with the balance of nature.

What is the background to your project, and what inspired you to delve into the niche of burial clothing?

I was speaking to a family member who went to a funeral where the deceased was buried in a wicker casket, and I thought that was very cool but I automatically questioned what she wore in the casket, since I study textile design I’m always thinking about materials. This family member was also helping me figure out a concept for my final year project, and he thought shrouds for the grave was a great idea. At first I said no way, because I’m 22 death isn’t something that crosses my mind often and I thought it would be too morbid. But the more research I did the more I realised I could incorporate the themes that ARE of a great concern to me (environmental impact of textiles) and make the project a positive one.

What research did you do for the project?

For my project’s concept I began researching ancient Irish traditions and celebrations i.e. pagan traditions and mythological beliefs, and most of these things were connected to death and the afterlife, and compared this to how we view death today. For the visuals of my project I looked into folk art, traditional Irish crafts and other artists and designers who incorporate or mimic nature in their work. The most interesting research for me was discovering innovative and sustainable textiles, e.g. fabric made out of seaweed, algae or nettles. Of course none of these fabrics are commercial yet, so for my project I stuck to traditional cottons, linens and silk, with Irish made linen being the star feature.

What, if anything, surprised you most about the ‘death world’?

During my research I discovered that eco or green burials are gaining popularity, but I almost couldn’t find anyone who had considered what the body will wear in the grave. I asked a friend who works at a funeral directors what people wear for a green burial and he said people are just dressed in a plain robe sort of thing for their burial. I think it made me realise just how little most people know about, so therefore consider, what their clothes are made from.

Another thing I realised during this project is that in other countries around the world death is kind of more accepted, and a bigger fuss is made out of funerals. This could be because of their different beliefs of the afterlife or maybe because more people die at an early age. But in the western world especially, death is scary, and we put it off for as long as possible, and everyone wears black at the funerals and it seems like the worst thing in the world. I’m not saying either of these views of death is wrong, I just found it interesting once I thought about it.

Do you think you’ll be making the garments to sell in the future?

As of now I have no plans to actually make and sell burial garments, even though I think there is a gap in the market for them. But hopefully now that more people are thinking about a green burial, more people will start making sustainable burial clothing.

What is something you would like people reading this to know?

I can’t think of anything else I’d like to add about my project, but I guess in general I’d like more people to think about what their clothes are made from and who has made them. If you buy a £3 t-shirt in Primark, what did the person making it get paid? And isn’t it better to spend money on well-made, ethically made clothing rather than continuously buying cheap clothes that wear out fast? Also, if your clothes do become unwearable, never ever throw them in the bin that goes to landfill.

Francesca’s website is:

https://www.francescareatextiles.com/

You can also find her on Instagram

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By Ruth Owen

Ruth Owen
Hydrangea wreath

‘I want to talk about my Mum dying but people have stopped asking me about it and so I don’t know whether I can bring it up’

‘People assume that everything is okay because I am just getting on’

‘It’s been a year since my brother died and there seems to be a feeling that I should have moved on – but I don’t feel like that’

‘People cross the street when they see me – I think they are embarrassed or don’t know what to say’

‘I think my friends are afraid I might cry on them’

The time between someone dying and the funeral is often a very busy time – making contact with people, making arrangements with the funeral director, the officiant, family and friends, doing all the official, legal things that are required and just generally engaged in many conversations about what has happened and how we are feeling. After the funeral there seems to follow a quieter time when it comes to tasks and there comes a time and a need to return to ‘normality’. What is normal when we are talking about bereavement and grief? Everyone’s grief is individual to them and yes there are some ‘norms’ in terms of our physical and emotional reactions to grief but really, we are all individual and we will have had our own relationship with the person who has died and we will respond to that in our own way.

What does become apparent though is that over the months that follow, our opportunities to talk to people about our experience and our emotions become less. Perhaps because we don’t feel like we can or should bother people; perhaps because we think that we might look okay to people on the outside that we don’t feel we can tell them how we are on the inside; perhaps people are afraid to ask us because they don’t know what kind of emotional response they will have to deal with. Whatever the reason, the fact is we don’t talk. Counselling offers that opportunity to share our inner most thoughts with someone who is non-judgemental and impartial. However, it can sometimes be difficult to access free counselling or a long wait and not everyone can afford to pay for it.

The idea of a bereavement support group is that you can offer people a safe space to share experiences and emotion with people who have a shared knowledge and understanding of where you might be at. The power of hearing that someone else has thought what you have been thinking, has wondered whether their feelings are ‘normal’, shared the feeling of fog and forgetfulness, should not be underestimated.

We started our bereavement support group in October 2018. Before the Covid pandemic, we met in an evening once a month and we have an open door – to anyone (not just to families that we have supported) who would like to come and stay for as little or as long as you would like. The kettle was warm, and the biscuits were plentiful. During the pandemic we have continued to meet, only by Zoom. I wasn’t too sure how people would feel about it but like everything, it works for some and doesn’t for others. Some like the opportunity to still be able to meet and chat. Some don’t like video conferencing as a way to connect. What we all miss is the chance to give a hug or hold a hand but we also take comfort from knowing that we are there for each other.

You may not want to say very much in front of a group of people who you have never met before – that’s okay. You may find yourself sharing more because they are strangers – that’s okay too. Either way, what we hope is that people feel comfortable and leave with a sense of their time having been spent in a worthwhile way. We aren’t counsellors but we are a team of people who work every day with the bereaved and we listen to their experiences and we share their lessons with those who we hope it can help.

‘I went home and I slept through the night for the first time since my husband died’

‘Someone in the group talked about a time of day that they found to be very difficult and how they decided to start a new routine at that time and it has helped them. I am going to try that too.’

‘It isn’t just me’

‘They all understood what I was trying to say even though I couldn’t find the words’

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Full Circle Funerals Bereavement Support Group meets on the first Wednesday of the month, 5.00-6.30pm by Zoom. You can contact Ruth on 01943 262626 or [email protected] to find out more about the group and to get the link for the next meeting.

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By Jodie Hudson

Jodie
Book cover

Talking about death can be difficult, and some people find it especially hard to approach the subject with children. We have collected a list of 10 children’s books that explore the subject of death and topics around it such as missing someone, saying goodbye and managing difficult emotions. This list is not exhaustive, and there are many books for children on these topics that we haven’t listed, but these are some that stuck out to us. 

Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

This wonderful book introduces children and adults to ageing, death and dying without using sugar-coated language. Badger is old and knows that he will soon die, which doesn’t scare him but leaves him with concern for those he cares about. When Badger’s death finally arrives the reader is taken through the reactions of those that cared for Badger, and how they felt following his death is explored.

Buy Badger’s Parting Gifts on Amazon

 

Lifetimes by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen

‘Nothing that is alive goes on living forever’

In this gentle book readers are taught that everything that is alive has a lifespan, which begins and also ends. Death and dying is normalised by Mellonie and Ingpen, and made as much a part of living as being born.

Buy Lifetimes on Amazon

 

The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Readers are introduced to Fox who, whilst he has had a long and happy life knows that it is time for him to leave. After he falls asleep for the last time his friends begin to gather round him to share memories, and from this a memory tree grows. In The Memory Tree Teckentrup uses sensitive language to introduce the death of Fox and inspires home with her whimsical illustrations that memories about someone that has died continue on in people’s minds and hearts.

Buy The Memory Tree on Amazon

 

When Dinosaurs Die by Laurie Krasny Brown

This book explains in simple, honest terms about death, dying and grief. It explores some of the feelings that may be experienced when someone is bereaved, and seeks to answer some of the most commonly asked questions children have about death

Buy When Dinosaurs Die on Amazon

 

Wherever You Are: my love will find you by Nancy Tillman

Even when apart, a parent will always love their child. In death that love will remain. This book contains a pertinent reminder for children that have lost a parent that they will never, ever be without their parent’s love, even if they have died.

Buy Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You on Amazon

 

Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch

Erlbruch’s tender tale of an unlikely friendship between Duck and Death is beautifully illustrated and serves as a gentle reminder that dying comes to us all, and does not need to be feared.

Buy Duck, Death and the Tulip on Amazon

 

Gentleman Sam by Penny Hartdale

Gentleman Sam is an elderly dog who finds his forever home on a farm with other animals. Sam has lots of lumps and he knows that one of them will kill him. He is not scared of dying, but has concerns for his friends that will remain behind. When Sam dies his friends are very sad, but in time the sun returns as they begin to understand that Sam remains with them, just out of site.

Buy Gentleman Sam from Hart Publications

 

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

‘…the pieces all joined together,
and the paper dolls flew
into the little girl’s memory’

This is the story about a girl and her paper dolls, and is a sweet reminder of the circle of life and that those we care about remain with us.

Buy The Paper Dolls on Amazon

 

Suzie Goes to a Funeral by Charlotte Olson

Attending a funeral for the first time can be daunting, especially for children. In this book Olson explains what can happen at a funeral in ways which children can understand. This book can help children prepare for attending a funeral themselves or can serve as a useful tool to explain what happens at funerals to children that might not be attending themselves, but have questions about the event.

Buy Suzie Goes to a Funeral on Amazon

 

Love Will Never Die by Clare Shaw

There are lots of things that children can feel after someone they care about dies. This book explains some of these feelings in honest, clear language, and encourages children to express their feelings through language and through drawing.

Buy Love Will Never Die from Clare Shaw’s website

Use code KPG40 to get 40% off RRP and have a donation made to the charity Kaleidoscope Plus Group

 

Water Bugs and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney

This tale uses the analogy of a water bug turning into a graceful dragonfly to explain death to children.

Buy Water Bugs and Dragonflies on Amazon

 

Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute? by Elke and Alex Barber

Sudden deaths can be incredibly difficult to come to terms with and often have an added layer of complexity that expected deaths do not have. Elke and Alex Barber have put together this short book that seeks to help children come to terms with someone they care about dying suddenly – it can also be used by adults to open up the conversation about someone’s death.

Buy Is Daddy Coming Home in a Minute? on Amazon

and find out more information here

 

What Happened to Daddy’s Body? by Elke and Alex Barber

From the same authors as Is Daddy Coming Home in a Minute?What Happened to Daddy’s Body uses the same delicate but clear language to explain the process of cremation to children.

Buy What Happened to Daddy’s Body? on Amazon

 

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Through the perspective of a fish that has lost his tank-mate, Parr explores the variety of emotions one can experience in loss, and those behaviours that may result. The book concludes by encouraging readers that positive feelings can come after goodbyes, even though it might not feel like it at the time.

Buy The Goodbye Book on Amazon

 

I Miss You by Pat Thomas

Simple explanations of death, why people die and what people can feel after a funeral are all contained in this book by Pat Thomas.

Buy I Miss You on Amazon

 

Ida, Always by Caron Levis

Ida and Gus are polar bears that live in a city zoo. Ida becomes sick with an illness that cannot get better which leads to hear death. Through the experience of Gus and Ida the turbulence of caring for someone through a  terminal illness to their death is delicately spoken about in these whimsically illustrated pages.

Buy Ida, Always on Amazon

 

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

In this book readers are reminded that no matter what happens, even death, people are always connected to those that they love.

Buy The Invisible String on Amazon

 

The Invisible Leash by Patrice Karst

From the author of The Invisible Sting, this tender tale seeks to reassure readers that after a pet dies, the love they had for them will remain.

Buy The Invisible Leash on Amazon

 

I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

When Elfie, a young boy’s dog dies from old age the boy and his family are sad. Their grief is explored in this book and relief is found in remembering just how much Elfie was and still is loved.

Buy I’ll Always Love You on Amazon

 

The Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

When Elfie, a young boy’s dog dies from old age the boy and his family are sad. Their grief is explored in this book and relief is found in remembering just how much Elfie was and still is loved.

Buy I’ll Always Love You on Amazon

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