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COVID-19 and Community Deathcare
Troubling times….death and grieving during this pandemic

May 13th, 2020

We are currently facing a situation we have never seen in our lifetime; a pandemic that now makes us doubt most of our common habits. In daily life, we have been used to experiencing all kinds of intimate moments that most us probably took for granted: a kiss on the cheek from someone we haven't seen in a long time, a hug from a friend, a handshake, sharing of food and drink. These acts now are mostly prohibited and come with much fear and anxiety.

Intimate acts are also an integral part of death and death care. Right now, it certainly is not a good time to be sick nor to die. People who have been dying during this pandemic find themselves often alone, they do not have the right to see more than one of their family members at once (if at all), and they are always looking at masked faces, not the familiar and beautiful faces they love and long to see in their last moments. People facing death right now, whether due to COVID-19 or not, are met with a great lack of intimate moments. People grieving their loved ones that have died during this time cannot come together to support one another, be comforted by affectionate touch, nor gather with their loved ones to share food, rituals and condolences. The culture of death is entirely put into question and shaken up by what we are going through.

How do we reclaim our engagement with death in an intimate and personal way during this time? How do we go through a death with as much ease and calm as possible alongside these added uncertainties and limitations? How do we mourn our loved ones with the support we need?  We at Community Deathcare Québec certainly do not have all the answers, but we would love to explore the challenges, the emotions and the possible solutions together in a community setting. 

If you would like to explore the theme of community deathcare and the challenges presented by COVID-19, please email us scmq.cdq@gmail.com and we will organize a date for us to gather and discuss on Zoom.