With COVID-19, the traditions central to our human experience have looked much different. With guidelines limiting group gatherings in place throughout our communities, it has been difficult to gather with our family and friends for moments where being together is important — such as grieving the loss of loved ones. 

When it comes to holding funeral and memorial services during a pandemic, there are several ways to conduct a proper memorialization ceremony with consideration and care for everyone involved.

Be Open to the Grieving Process

In times of grief, it’s crucial to not prolong the mourning process, as doing so can be detrimental to one’s well being in an already stressful and disconnected time. 

Experiencing and processing that pain, coming together with others to celebrate your loved one’s life, and then adjusting to a new reality after loss are all essential stages of grief that mourners must go through. 

Even if grieving is not what we expected it to be, it’s important to continue moving forward in the process. At the end of the day, don’t delay — start grieving now. 

Integrate Technology Into the Ceremony

With thanks to technology, families can host socially-distanced ceremonies by holding a virtual celebration of life or funeral ceremony through streaming. 

An online funeral or memorial service can also help involve people who would otherwise not be able to attend in person — including those who are quarantined, sick, at high risk, or from another city. By live streaming, they can take part with their community and loved ones in saying goodbye. 

Host the Memorial Service in Open Spaces

For those who wish to host a small, intimate ceremony, plan to host the service in a large open space — preferably outdoors with lots of fresh air and room for distancing. 

If held indoors, continue to focus on large spaces with open doors and windows for air circulation.

Invite the Community to Remember Together

In the virtual space, attendees can also contribute to virtual memorial books and share videos, eulogies, readings, photos and prayers. 

The acknowledgement of bereavement as a community event is key to beginning  grieving, as family and friends are able to be there for each other with support and love, as well as share memories of their deceased loved one. This connection can provide comfort and healing in a time of pain.

Funeral providers, such as the directors at Kearney Funeral Services, can guide families through the challenges of grieving in a socially-distanced time.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kearney continues to be committed to their mission of caring for those dealing with the loss of a loved one with the highest level of care and compassion, as well as the highest commitment to ensuring the health and safety of their clients and their team.

Families can call and book an in-person appointment with a funeral director at one of their locations, or seek assistance from Kearney’s team remotely. They are here to help anyone suffering from loss.