End of Lockdown - Advice for bereaved families


Sydneysiders, Territorians and Melburnians are beginning to emerge bleary-eyed and exhausted from extended lockdowns. State and international borders are opening. Families and friends are reuniting, some after not seeing each other for years. While this is a happy time for many, if you have experienced incredible heartbreak due to the death of a baby or child, it may seem like you are taking several steps backwards in your grief journey.

Lockdowns and family separations may have meant that people have been separated and unable to interact with their normal support networks during their most acute grief. With the changing landscape, people can now share their stories, some in person for the first time. Sharing this grief, face to face, can make you feel like you are right back in the worst moments of your loss.

Learning how to navigate this new normal will be hard for everyone. It’s ok if your grief manifests in new ways or moments that you thought had passed return – you are not alone, and we are here to support you through this.

There is no right way to behave, and there is no right way to feel except how you feel. As you step back into the new normal, here are some tips to help make the transition easier:

  • Take it slow. You control how quickly or slowly you move back into connecting with others.
  • Trust your instincts. If you have a “gut feeling” about meeting up with others, or going to a particular event/activity and don’t feel up to it – trust your feeling and reschedule.
  • Practice. There are questions that people may ask in social situations that can catch us off balance. Some include: how many children do you have? Why haven’t you been working the past couple of months? We haven’t spoken in a while. What has been happening with you? Considering how you would answer some of these questions and practising your responses can help you feel prepared and control what you want others to know.
  • It’s ok to say no. If you don’t feel comfortable or are not feeling ready to go to a friend’s baby shower or niece’s birthday party, say no and take the time to look after yourself and take these activities at your own pace.

Last reviewed: 19/7/24