‘We can only do what we can do.’

For some, the pandemic has meant slowing down at home. But Quaker Social Action is busier than ever, says Judith Moran

‘Bereavement can be crushing at any time, but hearing the pain experienced by people unable to attend a loved one’s funeral has been very difficult.’ | Photo: engin akyurt / Unsplash.

A decade ago I wrote in the Friend about the launch of a brand new project from Quaker Social Action (QSA): Down to Earth. I explained that its purpose was to help people on low incomes get an affordable and meaningful funeral. I used a quote from Thomas Lynch, which I’ve returned to many times. Lynch was a poet and undertaker who observed that: ‘A good funeral gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.’

Back then – and, in fact, up until two months ago – things were that simple. Our support added practical advice to the other elements that a bereaved family could reasonably expect at such a time.

And then came Covid-19.

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