Arranging a funeral during the COVID-19 pandemic

The past year has been a time of uncertainty and anxiety, and grieving a loved one during this period can only exasperate these feelings. However, you should feel as safe and secure as possible when planning a funeral or memorial service during the pandemic, so read on for some advice and guidance that will help you when grieving your loved one.

Throughout this pandemic, the importance of social distancing and reducing contact between individuals has been stressed time and time again. Everybody should be doing everything that they can to reduce any potential spread, and this is recommended for any funeral or memorial services you may be attending. 

Depending on the restrictions introduced by your government, you should always try to adhere to social distancing and masks wearing if there are any active coronavirus cases within your community. The higher the level of community transmission in your area, the more strict you should be with restrictions. If possible, you should also be avoiding any events held inside, so planning a memorial or wake in an outside area, or only in well ventilated indoor areas, would be preferable to reduce the risk of infection. 

You should also be practicing good hygiene wherever possible, so providing a lot of hand sanitizer, soap, multi-surface spray, and tissues at any events you plan is recommended. Making sure you disinfect anything you or anyone else touches reduces the number of infectious bacteria in any shared spaces, creating a safer environment for everyone around you. 

Additionally, a common practice during the past year for any events is to hold them on a virtual platform instead of in person. Whilst not ideal, having a virtual funeral or memorial will reduce the chances of infection to zero and will protect all of the deceased loved ones completely. With modern technology, it has become easier and easier to socialize and hold events online, and this would be an ideal setting for anyone who is high risk or lives in an area with a lot of infections. 

Another alternative to the traditional memorial services is having multiple, smaller gatherings for your loved one, to reduce any increased exposure. 

Grief is complex and often vast, and grieving during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of additional stress, sadness, and difficulty for loved ones. Being unable to grieve in traditional and normal ways can cause a lot of distress to individuals, but there are still safe and low-risk ways you can reach out and seek as much support as you require.

Whether the deceased loved ones’ are gathering virtually, or with restricted and socially distanced services, staying safe should be the priority. However, whilst the bereavement process should be altered to ensure it is as low-risk as possible, paying your respects is still possible, and encouraged, during these difficult times. If planning a funeral or memorial service, following the advice in this article will protect you and your loved ones as much as possible. 

At Alternatives, we can help you plan a COVID-friendly gathering. Please call us anytime and we can discuss options.