Nikki Bush in conversation with Rev. Alistair Anquetil, discuss the important topic of managing grief and loss in the time of Covid, including the validity and impact of incomplete grief and lack of closure. Alistair is one of the ministers at St Columba’s Presbyterian Church in Parkview, Johannesburg, together with Rev. Jaco Bester. His deep spirituality belies his ability to connect easily and naturally with people from all walks of life. Alistair’s insights and wise counsel are often sought when people are facing moments of crisis and celebration. During the global pandemic, Alistair and his staff, like many other institutions of faith, have been overwhelmed with death and loss as a result of the Covid-19 virus. For more information visit or


  • What to say when someone has died
  • The concepts of lack of closure and delayed grief
  • How people are saying farewell to loved ones in a time of social distance
  • The importance of maintaining a sense of community and support even in a hybrid world
  • How do we create rituals in a time of social distance?
  • How grief is situational and contextual – no two journeys are the same
  • Survivor’s guilt and how important it is to let go of guilt to heal and move forward
  • Grief and loss is a journey that continues – there is no full stop you are working towards
  • The journey with grief has different tempos and support is not just needed at the beginning when things are intense
  • How teams should not be left in a vacuum when one of their members dies
  • The problems with isolation
  • Death as a time of deep reflection

“There’s a sense of, enduring of persevering, of looking for a better day. And then there’s also the sense of trying to extract, some of what is gifted to us, in very difficult times.”

“I think it’s so hard to say those words, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Actually there’s nothing much more we can say. People often obsess about what to say?”

“Very few of us I think experience death without a sense of guilt, and that guilt comes in so many different ways, perhaps for not being the best, father, brother or husband.”

“In a counselling situation, if I can leave that space, having alleviated some of the guilt in whatever shape, size, or form off somebody’s shoulders, I feel that we’ve moved forward”

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