Below we have some guidance and suggestions on how to deal with bereavement and funerals during social isolation.

Funerals and memorials during COVID-19

When someone close to you has died, being unable to attend their funeral can be very distressing. It’s natural to want to get together with family and close friends, to be able to talk about the person who has died, to acknowledge what they have meant to us, and to give thanks for them and pay our respects.

Restrictions affecting how many people are allowed to attend a funeral are likely to impact on how you are able to acknowledge the person who has died. This may affect the way you are able to grieve for them. Yet, despite these restrictions there are a number of things you may be able to do that might help you, your family and friends to remember and mark the life of the person you have lost.

At present, some crematoria are encouraging smaller gatherings for funerals; however, many now also offer the facility to live-stream or even to record a funeral service. Local funeral directors will know whether this is possible; if it is, then this facility may allow family and friends who are unable to attend, to feel included and able to participate in the service.

In normal times, many people choose to have a memorial service sometime after the funeral. These services are often planned for weeks or even months after the funeral and can be arranged for a time that allows more people to attend.

If the person has a grave or their ashes are buried, setting up a memorial stone could provide an opportunity to bring family and friends together to remember them. Equally, the scattering of ashes of the person could be a focus for remembering their life.

You can also find a few prayers you may want to use during a funeral or remembrance service for your loved one.