Tipp man says communities can expect ‘Tsunami of Grief’ post-Covid


A local campaigner has said that families who suffer bereavements during the Covid-19 crisis will need to be given an opportunity to grieve properly – with their friends and communities – when the current pandemic abates.

Martin Quinn, from Tipperary town, this morning spoke of the many families that have to deal with bereavement without the kind of support they traditionally receive because of the distance people must keep during the current restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19.

And while condolence is being offered through online posts, or by standing within social distancing levels as the funeral cortege passes, he has noted that it is ‘far removed from what for generations was custom and practice in Ireland’.

He spoke of how gestures such as an embrace, a handshake or simple word of condolence mean so much; or how the presence of people at funeral services acts as a great comfort.

But these are all important aspects that are now missing from funerals because of social distancing measures.

Mr Quinn said that such consideration leads him ‘to wonder how we cope and deal with what is effectively a ‘tsunami of grief” that may present itself in the future

Grief is something he believes is easier borne by being shared with ‘family members, friends and community’, and he has suggested that a national day of remembrance be held when the crisis abates.

Noting that such an occasion should not be just one overall national event, he suggested that more intimate occasions celebrating the ‘individual lives of those who have passed away’ take place within the country’s parishes.

He concluded by saying:

‘…we must find ways to overcome the trauma and move to a place where we can celebrate the life of the person that has gone from us. As a community we must continue to be part of that process.’

Martin Quinn