The arrival of coronavirus has made life for bereaved families particularly tough.
The restrictions currently imposed on the numbers of people allowed to attend funerals mean that the needs of bereaved whole communities are not being met. Live-streamed funerals from crematoria, viewed more passively, often don’t enable a sense of ‘togetherness’ or participation; nor do promises of memorial services at some unknown point in the future provide sufficient comfort right now.
Feelings of loss are often most intense immediately after a death and it’s at this time that support can be most needed. People are being denied the chance to say their final farewells as part of a larger group together. This can then fundamentally affect the grieving process for everyone.
So what is the much-needed alternative?
I can now offer funerals in a different way, safely, free of restrictions around physical distancing and numbers of attendees – online. An online funeral enables people to be together as a larger group and feel close in a shared space – a beautiful space which is held with love and care, where a person’s life can be honoured and celebrated in a profoundly meaningful and real way. Here, online, a full funeral gathering can happen and a sense of togetherness experienced which can feel hugely connecting and comforting for a community of mourners.
What are funerals for?
We have funerals to
- honour and celebrate a life
- acknowledge a loss
- bring a community together
- provide hope and comfort
- say a final farewell and send off the person to whatever lies beyond
- dispose of a body
A direct cremation only satisfies the last of these.
Talking to a stranger helps with the grieving process
Preparing a funeral immediately after a death gives an opportunity to
- talk about a loved one to a stranger
- tell stories about the person who has died
- make a biographical narrative to take into the future
This can be a therapeutic and cathartic act which helps at the beginning of the grieving process.
Using technology to create a beautiful and meaningful funeral
We now have brilliant technologies for bringing people together in a shared online space, where it is possible to connect deeply with each other. I can help you to create a unique funeral for your loved one online. I will give you my time and my attention to make sure that we make it really special. If you are someone who thinks you will struggle with this online technology, you could use your telephone instead.
Managing the technology
I will do all I can to help you with technical issues. This way of meeting online is possible on a mobile phone, landline (without the screen images of course), tablet, iPad, laptop or computer and it is relatively straightforward to use. I can talk you through how everything works and we can practise together in advance of the funeral so everything runs as smoothly as possible on the day. You won’t have to do anything complicated technically at the funeral – that will all be taken care of my end.
Is it secure?
This is a very safe way of conducting a funeral. Only those invited to attend will be admitted. There are ways of making it very secure which I can talk through with you.
The delivery of a funeral online using ‘Zoom’
Mourners join the online funeral ceremony via a link, they see each other in their respective places and can be included in the service by
- reading a poem
- playing music or singing
- sharing memories about the person who has died
An online ‘gathering’ afterwards at which toasts can be made and further sharing of memories, is also possible.
In my home, I have made a space for a funeral to take place which can feel live and intimate online. Obviously there would be no coffin present but your loved one can be represented with a photo. There can be candles and flowers to enhance the beauty. Photos and slideshows can be shown and it can all be recorded for those unable attend. Together we can craft something truly memorable for all those who loved the person who died to experience.
Touching and connecting
You will be surprised how profoundly touching this new way of experiencing a funeral is and how deeply connecting it can be. It is fundamentally different from a funeral webcast from a crematorium and much more like a ‘normal’ funeral than you might expect.
Call me and we can talk about how this could work for you: 07967 231960.