Following the death of a loved one during these unprecedented times, regional guidelines may prohibit you from holding a memorial service. Traditionally, one of the most important steps in the healing processes is spending time in mourning, surrounded by supportive family and friends. However, don’t fret if you have not been able to honor the life of the deceased due to Coronavirus-related restrictions. There are still ample opportunities for you to gather family and friends for the memorial service you have envisioned. You just may need to wait a bit until restrictions lift.
Staying Connected Without a Funeral Service
Many of our families are opting to wait to hold memorial services, in hopes they will be able to invite as many people as possible to mark the occasion. If this characterizes your choice, you can do plenty of things in the meantime. One of the reasons people are forced to grieve alone is due to lack of communication. So, make sure everyone knows about the death”
- Post a notice of your loss on the funeral home website.
- Pay to run an obituary in the local newspapers
- Provide status updates across social media.
These forums enable family and friends to interact with by phone and digitally, so they can share memories and post photos of the deceased.
This time of forced isolation makes it all the more important that you reach out to people who care for you. Give them a call. Send letters, or text them to stay in touch. This type of social contact is no substitute for in-person meetings. But, for now, it will enable you to express your grief and share memories.
Grief Takes Time
COVID or not, grief takes time. Allow yourself the luxury of taking time to mourn your loss. Keep a journal to record memories. Share these with friends who will offer a sympathetic ear, if not a physical shoulder upon which you can cry.
Plan a future memorial service
If the funeral or cremation of your loved one during the pandemic left you feeling bereft because of the absence of support, plan a memorial service for after the lockdown restrictions have been eased. There are several advantages to taking plenty of time to plan a memorial service. In most cases, family members are so numb in the immediate aftermath of death, the memorial service passes in a fog. Waiting to hold a service will enable you to contact even distant friends and family.
And with plenty of time to plan in advance, you might even be able to select a popular location that meant a lot to the deceased. Planning also allows you to time the memorial service perfectly by choosing a date that suits most of your guest list. You can also take time to craft a touching tribute and collect meaningful mementos to display.
Ideas for creating a meaningful memorial service:
- Find a beautiful and significant location.
- Organize a display of photos or videos commemorating the life of your loved one.
- Hire someone to officiate the memorial service.
- Plan the content of the service to include friends and family singing hymns or songs.
- Organize beloved book snippets or the sharing of stories.
- Complete the memorial with a meal or refreshments at the venue. Serve your loved one’s favorite beverages or foods.
Other ideas for honoring a loved one with a smaller group of family and friends
If your group of family and friends is small, you may feel that a large memorial service won’t sufficiently support your loved ones during this period of grief. Consider various options for keeping the memory of a loved person alive. These can be held at any time, including on significant dates, such as their birthday:
- Family gatherings or reunions offer an opportunity to share a meal and reflect on the deceased. These can include favorite foods and fond memories as well as viewings of photos, videos, and other mementos.
- Celebrate the birthday of your beloved deceased with a special meal and cake.
- In many religions, a graveside memorial service is practiced in addition to a religious ceremony. This can offer everyone present the opportunity to silently reflect on the deceased, to share stories, or even offer prayers.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
Whether you choose to transport cremains now or hold a memorial or funeral after restrictions are further eased, we would love to help you celebrate your loved one’s life. At Foothill, we will do our best to make sure you can mourn the loss of your loved one in a safe manner. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. However, LA County may limit the number of people who can attend such an event in light of COVID-19. Call today to speak to one of our funeral directors about current options.