Many of us are home today, forced into isolation with only members of our immediate family.

This is far from the norm, and we are not used to the confinements of our four walls. Up until this point many of us have taken the monotonous day to day tasks we do for granted. Sending our kids to school, heading to work, meeting up with friends, everything up until this point has been seen as a right, and not a privilege.

As a nation we are struggling.

We are now faced with a situation where in many ways we turn our sights inward, to a place many have us have not been confronted with, being alone.

This is not only a scary and lonely time for us all but as a funeral director it makes me especially worried.

The social aspects of our life thus far have given us purpose. And while I think social isolation is necessary to stop the spread of this awful pandemic and protect the health and safety of our people my concerns are towards the sense of fear, panic, despair and depression that comes along with many of us loosing jobs, loosing financial stability, loosing communication or feeling especially alone.

I worry for individuals and for their families, I worry for our elderly and the people within our community that already face isolation and I’m afraid that the current situation will see a spike in suicides and worse. This is definitely a taboo subject and something none of us like to think about.

As a funeral director dealing with death is what we do, but suicide is something that is especially hard, there is always a question of why, what could have been done for a different outcome or more specifically ‘what could I have done?’

Hence the reason, I want to encourage everyone more than ever to reach out.

We are faced with the very real possibility of the current conditions being enforced for the foreseeable future and unfortunately for some people the hole they find themselves in will just be too deep to see a way out.

Our neighbours, our community and our friends need us more than ever.

This is exactly the time to maintain social distance and abide by the law, but this does not mean turning our backs on people that need us most. We must remain vigilant and think about how others might be coping.

Even if it means skyping a friend, phoning a neighbour or sending messages of support to each other, any measures we can take to check in on others welfare and maintain a level of community spirit will not only benefit others but also give a sense of pride and purpose that you are able to help someone else get through this.

I am human, I have been at points of my life where I felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel, and if it wasn’t for the strong, beautiful people that surrounded me things could have turned out very differently. Supporting each other during hard times holds a special place in my heart.

I don’t want to get to tomorrow and regret not doing something today, together we can come through this and be stronger than ever, with friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime.

Where I once would have said “my door is always open” I now say, “please reach out to me, I am here for you, we are here for you all”.

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