COVID-19: How New York life supported our communities.

New York Life | September 12, 2022


Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never an easy process. It became even more painful during the pandemic, In too many cases, COVID-19 complicated the grieving experience. Social distancing practices prevented loved ones from being present during or immediately after their loss, with 65 percent of Americans unable to grieve in person, and 83 percent unable to visit with a loved one before they passed away.

Schools were already a critical place of support for grieving young people, and that was highlighted during the pandemic. About 6 in 10 parents said that the pandemic had opened their eyes to the need for more grief support services in schools.

The New York Life Foundation’s Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative, established in 2018, continued its mission throughout the pandemic to help raise awareness of the impact of grief on school-age children and direct educators across the country to relevant, free, online grief resources and tools.

But we wanted to do more:

  • Our Brave of Heart Fund was founded in May 2020, and administered by E4E Relief, to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff, whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19.
  • The Brave of Heart Fund has disbursed over $25 million to the families of frontline healthcare heroes in 44 states lost to COVID-19. These funds relieved some of their financial and emotional stress, via grants to cover critical needs including:
    • Funeral and burial expenses for loved ones
    • Rent or mortgages
    • Food, clothing, transportation, and essential utilities
    • Daycare, childcare, and educational expenses
    • Outstanding medical expenses for the deceased
    • Counseling

  • Today, the Brave of Heart Fund continues to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families via scholarship funding for their spouses, domestic partners, and children.
  • The New York Life Foundation’s inaugural bereavement report, The State of Grief, found that the pandemic had amplified Americans’ desire to talk about death and loss. The report explored the impact of COVID-19 on grief and bereavement as part of the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to generating resources, understanding, and awareness to support grieving children and their families.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, we know that bereavement remains a complex and very personal process. In times of grief, we stand ready to offer practical and emotional support to the communities and clients we serve.


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Media contact

Jacqueline Meere
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937