Covid has changed the way society does everything, so it is not a shock that funerals have also been forced to adapt to this new age of social distancing, regular hand washing, and being outdoors whenever possible.
Due to the regulations surrounding large gatherings of people, funerals have shifted to being largely virtual this year. Many families are using Zoom and YouTube to livestream their loved one’s funerals for extended family and friends.
The ritual of a funeral, even if it is a digital one, is important for the grieving process. “Grief must be witnessed: we weren’t meant to be islands of grief,” grief expert David Kessler puts it.
When planning a virtual funeral, you should consider what aspects you want included, such as a blessing or reading, a musical rendition of your loved one’s favorite song, or a video stream of the grave side and/or the burial. There are many options depending upon how much or little you wish to include. Despite funerals being mostly virtual now, you can still incorporate many traditional aspects of an in-person funeral with a little advance planning.
Many businesses have built useful products and services to make virtual funeral planning a lot easier. There are a lot of great options out there and here are just a few:
GatheringUs connects families and loved ones to allow them to grieve together. They also have created a virtual streaming service specifically built around funerals. They have a couple additional products too including online memorial pages. You can schedule a free 30 minute event consultation to help you plan your loved one’s funeral.
AFTR creates state-of-the-art graveside cameras to allow you, family members, and friends see your loved one’s gravesite at any time using their app. Their app and system makes it feel as if you’re just a few taps away from your loved one at any time.
Ever Loved has great online memorial pages which include options to raise funds for a funeral within the site or create a fundraiser for a charity in lieu of flowers or other gifts. They also have a marketplace to help you select items like caskets or urns that you can find more affordably through them than at a funeral home. Of course, we would always recommend you check out our Oaktree Memorials urn collection if you are looking for distinct and sophisticated full sized or keepsake sized urns.
Cake is a great resource for finding out more information about virtual funerals, grief, memorials, and whatever other loss related topic you might be thinking of as you go through this challenging time. Here is their section on funerals.
Funerals will always be an integral part of the grieving process and learning how to achieve the feeling of connection and support virtually is something we must all learn to do.