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UK News

Under 30s most affected by bereavement during the last year

by Kelly Valencia

People aged 18-29 in England have been the most affected by bereavement over the past year, according to new research released by the Church of England. 

At least 51 per cent of young adults said they have lost someone close to them in the last year, compared to 31 per cent of people aged 60 or above.

They are also the group most involved in helping to comfort the bereaved and organise funerals. More than a quarter of young adults said they had helped organise a funeral in the last year, compared to seven percent of the older age group. 

Revd Dr Sandra Millar, who leads the funeral work of the Church of England, told Premier what she thinks the long-term impact on young people will be. 

"For some it will impact their mental health. We had quotes in the research from young people who just felt that although their grandparents didn't die of Covid, the funeral was Covid-restricted and that overshadows the day. So, as we go forward, there'll be that need to come and tell more stories and share memories and process grief," Revd Dr Sandra said. 

The research also revealed 89 per cent of those who have suffered bereavement weren't able to say goodbye properly. Seven in ten who wanted to attend a funeral were unable to do so because of the pandemic and at least 84 per cent said they had been unable to fulfil the funeral wishes of their relatives. 

For Revd Dr Sandra, the consequences of not being able to attend a funeral or share your grief with those closest to you is yet to be seen.  

"If you've been bereaved, you're often able to meet with people, talk with them, process things, do ordinary things, get used to the memories, share the memories. A lot of that has been contained in this year and I think when we start to go out and about again, socially, people will be hit by the impact of the fact that someone they care about isn't with them anymore," she explained. 

On 23rd March, cathedrals and parishes will take part in the National Day of Reflection to remember those who died during the last year and there will be a minute of silence at 12pm.  

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