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Commemorating your loved one on the day of the funeral

If you are self-isolating due to Coronavirus or if the restrictions prevent you from attending, all is not lost as there are alternative ways to pay your last respects.

It’s not necessary to forgo the funeral you always wanted for your loved one. You can defer the full memorial to a later date with support from our expert funeral directors.

Those arranging a memorial service or wake, may wish to arrange a smaller memorial now and also, make preparations for when restrictions due to COVID-19 are removed and people can once again gather freely.


Live Streaming the funeral

Many venues have technology that will allow you to live stream the service to family and friends who aren’t able to attend, or to record the service for viewing at a later date. Your Funeral Director will be able to liaise with the venue to understand what is possible.

Alternatively, where mobile phone networks and plans permit, someone in attendance could share the service on a video call with family and friends. 

Things you can do on the day of the funeral if you can't attend

A smaller memorial service could, in light of the current circumstances, be held on the day of the funeral. It can also take place on a specific date in the future, such as your loved one’s birthday or the anniversary of their death, or at any other time following their funeral.

Prepare in advance for any memorial you plan to arrange. If you live with family or other people, especially others who may not have known the deceased, tell them what you are planning for that day and at what time, so they know when to pay their respects or to give you some peace and space to do so yourself.

Connect with loved ones

Connect with other friends or family of the person who has died, who also cannot attend, by arranging a time to speak with them on the day. This could just be over the phone, or it could be a video call via WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom.

If an attended service has been arranged for immediate family, tell them about the memorial service you have planned. This could be a comfort to them and will let them know other people are thinking of them and paying respects to the person who has died. You may also want to send them photos or an audio or video eulogy. .

Social media memorials

One of the easiest ways to hold a memorial whilst observing current restrictions is via social media. You could create a private Facebook event or memorial and invite only close friends and family. If your loved one was part of a larger social circle or community, you may decide to create a public post, explaining that everyone can use that space to pay their respects. This may give loved ones the opportunity to share videos, photos, stories and cherished memories of the person who has passed away.

There may, of course, be friends and family members who do not use social media or who would find a personal invitation more appropriate. For those friends and relatives, a phone call may be a good idea.

Create a photo memorial

You could display photos of your loved one at home or create a photo memorial tribute. This could be a single portrait or a memory board with your favourite photos from different stages of their life. You could even do this on a computer, by preparing a slideshow or video in honour of the deceased, which could easily be shared online with friends.

Video eulogy

A eulogy is a speech at a funeral commemorating the life of the deceased. You could prepare a video eulogy in honour of your loved one and share this with friends who were unable to attend the funeral.

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