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Belfast family's anguish after beloved great-gran Josephine Lidster died with none of them at bedside

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Grief: The funeral of Josephine Lidster in west Belfast on Saturday

Grief: The funeral of Josephine Lidster in west Belfast on Saturday

Grief: The funeral of Josephine Lidster in west Belfast on Saturday

The grieving family of a great-grandmother who died with coronavirus have told of the "harrowing" experience of knowing she died without them.

Josephine Lidster (72) was given a restricted private funeral in west Belfast on Saturday due to the current lockdown measures.

Josephine's son-in-law Jim Kettle (51) told Sunday Life: "People have to start believing this is really happening and taking this seriously. People don't seem to realise this is real until it comes knocking on their door and then it's far too late. When that sunshine goes away this virus will still be here and I wish people would realise that - take it seriously and stay at home."

Josephine had been in hospital earlier this month with an unrelated health issue before being readmitted last week, the family say. She died on April 8.

Mr Kettle hopes no other family experience the same horror and thanked the emergency services for their efforts. He added: "She passed away with no family at her bedside, which is just harrowing."

He said the funeral was "hard to take, but you just have to get on with it; you can't even have an open coffin, so you just have to believe it's your loved one in the box".

He added: "It's terribly harrowing for everyone, that's how we are feeling right now. Especially as her younger brother died days ago as well."

Belfast Telegraph