Grief-stricken Colin: ‘My dad’s Covid death has left me in limbo’


A grief-stricken son is hoping to set up a Stoke-on-Trent support group for those affected by coronavirus after losing his dad suddenly.

Colin Fernando was heartbroken after his father, Anthony Fernando, collapsed and died after catching Covid-19 last April.

But the 52-year-old says being unable to hold a ‘proper’ funeral has left him struggling to come to terms with the death.

Now he is reaching out to others in his home city who may be going through a similar experience.

Colin, from Bucknall, said: “There’s no real sense of loss because there’s no goodbye. Your loved one disappears out of your lives.



Anthony Fernando has passed away after contracting coronavirus
Anthony Fernando has passed away after contracting coronavirus

“There was this helplessness because I was 165 miles away from my parents. I just got a phone call from their friends saying he was found collapsed on the floor of his home in London.

“It was the first lockdown so I couldn’t travel. It was phone calls from doctors after that.

“The doctor was telling me he is very ill and on the fourth day I phoned to see how he is and the doctor told me he passed away half an hour ago.

“He phoned me when he got admitted to hospital and told me he would be fine and be at home in three days. That’s the last thing I heard from him.

“Why has my children’s grandfather just disappeared into thin air? Not being able to have a funeral or any of the processes that goes with losing someone, means there is no sense of bereavement.

“You know that they are gone but you don’t think of it that way. It’s a surreal and numbing experience. I can’t be the only person who is feeling that way.”



Anthony Fernando was a member of the Navy in Sri-Lanka
Anthony Fernando was a member of the Navy in Sri-Lanka

Anthony left the Sri Lankan Navy and moved to London in 1966.

The 81-year-old’s body was automatically cremated and his ashes sent out to his son following his death on April 25.

Despite seeing a bereavement counsellor, Colin believes there needs to be more tailored support for people who have lost loved ones to Covid-19.



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He added: “As people we have a mourning process for a reason so there is some sort of acceptance of what happened. When there’s nothing it’s like you are in a limbo.

“Ideally I would like to bring some sort of sense of closure for all of us who have lost people in this way. Through talking to other people in similar situations it may help someone struggling realise they are not on their own.

“If we got together we could help each other to deal with it. Talking helps. I’ve looked and looked for nearly a year and there is no specific bereavement service for people who have lost loved ones to Covid.

“Through shared experience you can find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.”

Colin is now keen to reach out to anyone affected by a death linked to coronavirus.

He added: “If they wanted to get in contact or send me a message, we can help each other through messenger or Zoom. It would be a two-way process.”

If you have lost family member or a friend to coronavirus and want to speak with Colin, contact him on covid.bereavement@virginmedia.com



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