The current pandemic and associated social restrictions mean that other than close family most of us are unable to attend the funerals of some family members or friends.
Funerals are an important rite of passage in our society and joining together with others who loved or cared about a person is an important part of both the grieving and the healing process. Although many families are opting to make ceremonies available via a webcast, not everyone has access to the internet or they may simply just feel this is too ‘remote’
Here then are some ideas to consider as ways to pay your respects if you are unable to attend a funeral, either because of the current situation or more generally;
~ Write down some of your memories of the person and send to their closest family. Never underestimate the impact of kind words. I know from experience how much families treasure tributes like this. Just knowing someone has made the time and effort to record their thoughts is both validating and comforting.
~ Make a donation in memory of the deceased. Often families specify a particular charitable cause that has meaning for them and/or their loved one, but even if they don’t it is a lovely way to create tangible good out of a sad situation.
~ Plant a tree or shrub. Everytime you see the plant it will remind you of the person. If you don’t have a garden of your own then perhaps arrange to dedicate a plant in another setting in memory of the person.
~ Set some time aside for quiet reflection or meditation. Think about the person who has passed away and all they meant to you. This may be at the same time as the funeral is happening or a separate occasion.
~ Stay in touch with the family. Often the bereaved have plenty of support around then in the weeks after someone has died but often this fades as people return to their own busy lives. Even an occasional phonecall is a way of demonstrating you are thinking of someone and remembering their loved one.