The COVID pandemic affected many people in our community, particularly with bereavement.
The implementation of lockdown measures meant that all the familiar ways in which we deal with loss – such as being able to say goodbye in person, or conduct a significant ceremony – either changed beyond recognition or were not permitted to take place. In addition, our ability to support each other within our families and communities was limited by social distancing measures.
Sadly, as we know all too well, these circumstances contributed to a deepening wave of isolation and substantially affected the shape of grief across the world.
Over the last few months, we asked ten people who experienced bereavement and loss during the pandemic to share their personal stories with each other, and work together to decide what story they wanted to tell collectively. The project was in partnership with the Museum of London, who commissioned artist Olivia Twist to attend and create a series of six illustrations portraying the themes of the stories told. Supported by Arts Council England, printed versions of the illustrations have become part of the permanent collection cared for by the museum.
These illustrations, together with testimony and portrait photography, will be on display in St Christopher’s CARE for a period of three months. We think that the illustrations offer a powerful insight into this most challenging of times and we hope that it will help others understand that if they had these experiences too, they are not alone.