Pandemics can cause tragic loss of lives. People may lose their family members, friends, and other loved ones. Things can be further aggravated owing to the inability to attend funerals, guilt regarding the inability to save, etc.
Acknowledge feelings of loss.
Tell them that you can't imagine how difficult it must be for them
Allow them to express their emotions (crying, shock, disbelief)
If the person is crying or in shock, be with the person and do not interrupt them. Give them time to express their feelings.
Allow them to talk about the loved person if possible.
Ask them what they need, this needs to be done in a sensitive manner. This is to elicit the needs of the individuals going
Help them to connect with the persons who will support them
Ask them about the person who they would like to connect and provide the support for the same (would you like to call anyone now).
Ask them what support they need for what happens next.
Persons might need to complete the procedures and will need support for the same
If you do not have answers for a question, acknowledge that you don't know what to say. Never give information you are not authorized to.
If there are many members of a family and want time with each other, allow them space to talk to each other.
Provide them with the contact details of the person if they need to contact for any details. It is useful to provide details of the contact persons of the settings whom they can contact if need be.
Each individual and families have different ways of grieving so do not judge.
Do not judge or impose your beliefs.
Ask them to get in touch with mental health professionals, if emotional problems worsen.
Tell them that if they are persisting to feel highly distressed, have thoughts about harming
themselves, they need to seek professional help.