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The Brendan O'Connor Show on Auti, Radio one with all care pharmacy discover a team that's always here to support you at all care taking care of communities across Ireland.


Brendan O'Connor on our TV Radio One.


I think we can sometimes forget in this an almost become immune to the figures. But that's what is at the core of all this, is that there are a lot of people dying. We have seen now over a thousand deaths in the last month, and that is, of course, over a thousand families. And there is some nice stuff across the papers today about the difficulty of grief in this time. And it's look, it's a hard no time is a good time to die, but this is a hard time to die and it's a hard time to to say goodbye to your loved ones.


And we're joined on the line now by Maureen Gaffney, clinical psychologist.


And, Maureen, you think that we need to figure out how to have some kind of a national day of mourning around this?


And I do, because it's interesting that the discussion with the panel, you know, has invariably ended up about what are we going to do when it's over because this will pass like everything does. But in the meantime, we had three thousand two hundred and ninety two people in Ireland who've died of Colvert. And we know that for every person that dies, there's an estimated nine people who are very significantly affected by those deaths, you know, their family, their close friends and so on.


Now, if, for example, there was a natural disaster that killed over 3000 people in Ireland, there would be absolutely no question that we would have to mark the event in some way as a nation. And I think that we will have to do that as well. And we should start thinking about that now, because you mentioned there about the constrained morning. And I think there's an expanding pool of people who are really carrying personal grief and social life that couldn't be expressed in in the normal way.


You know, I attended one funeral over the last year of a friend and and it really was a weird experience, you know, to to sort of be there on Zoome, you know, watching the family. They seemed like cruelly alone as they as they walked up the steps, you know, because I think if we do anything well in Ireland, we do mourning and the whole rites and rituals of grief very well, because mourning is is a collective process.


It's a social process. You know, all that coming together of people from all different parts of someone's life. You know, it it sort of fills in the gaps. You know, I know that when my mother and father died, I was still amazed at the people who turned up to the funeral. I thought I knew everything about their lives, but. But you realised they had lives before you came. And I think that that collective sense of being carried by others, you know, and that Irish thing of, you know, that inarticulate thing of sticking out your hand and saying, I'm sorry for your troubles, Mum.


I mean, there's something enormously consoling about that. Instead, what we've had now is all these families have had the dismal job of selecting who can attend and who can't. And I'm sure very difficult decisions have to be made that caused a lot of frictions. So I think that there are also other losses, nothing on the scale of losing someone in your family or a close friend. But an awful lot of people have suffered losses of one kind or another over the last year.


You know, businesses have suffered. But but also, I think people at either end of adulthood have had a very hard time. I mean, it's pretty terrible to have been in your late teens and 20s over over the last year, because what you want when you're 20 is you want to get your life started. You want to, you know, find a foothold in life. And people have been utterly stalled. Like, you know, they can't move forward.


You know, more people want to use what time they have left and the best way possible.


Yeah, and loss is the word, isn't it, like that.


Even if you haven't lost a loved one, people have huge loss in their lives. Don't think that's such a simple word.


But, God, you were.


When you say it there, I realize, like there is so much we've lost so much this and there's this is kind of sensitive kind of thing, but you also feel that there are a lot of people out there who are possibly feeling a lot of guilt around the loss of their loved ones and thinking of doing this differently and doing that differently and everything.


Well, I mean, that that happens, you know, especially when a death is not, as it were, a normal death. You know, I mean, death is always very difficult and churns up an awful lot of feelings. But but covid with something that we were all in this war together, you know, we were always fighting this common enemy. And so when when people fell, when our comrades fell, as it were, there is that sense of could we have done more?


You know, could we have, as it were, saved the day for them? You know, and of course, it's so irrational, but it doesn't mean that, you know, because something is irrational, it doesn't mean that it doesn't bite emotionally. And I think there are some people who probably feel that. And even though their friends are telling them, look, you did everything you could. There is I think that that feeling of in that there was something not finished properly.


All the people who who couldn't be at someone's bedside, you know, during the really bad times, you know, that, you know, maybe in the last 10 years that someone who died had was a nurse or a doctor. I mean, are these things really hurt people?


OK, Maureen Gaffney, thanks a lot for that. And look, I'm sure that's an idea that will start to form more and more. And we and I'm sure as a nation we'll come up with something appropriate.


Brendan O'Connor on our TV, Radio One.