Having a service or gathering to
remember and honor a life lived is an extremely vital part of the grieving
process. It is a chance for loved ones to say goodbye, and it also provides an
opportunity for friends, family, coworkers, and community members to offer
necessary comfort and reassurance. However, there are currently restrictions on
gatherings, and society is encouraged to stay home as much as possible because
of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, you might need to get a bit more
creative in order to express sympathy and offer support to those grieving.
This period of uncertainty might also
be particularly trying for those who have lost a loved one in the past. If
their loved one’s birthday or anniversary of death falls during this time, it
might feel additionally lonely and sad due to social distancing and the already
overwhelming current conditions. Many of the ideas listed below can be used to show
you are thinking of these individuals who are facing difficult days as well.
Get Creative with Communication
Sending a sympathy card in the mail
is currently still a viable option, but there are also many ways to use
technology to let the family know you are sorry for their loss and thinking of
them even though you cannot be there in person. Send a heartfelt text or set up
a time to video conference. When it comes to social media, follow the lead of
the family; if they have posted about their loved one’s death already, then it
is appropriate to comment with your condolences.
There are a couple of ways to offer your sympathies and connect through
our funeral home website. As always, you can view tribute videos and use our
condolences page to leave a message for the family. In addition, we have
created HeartStrings, an option for you to upload a photo and add a note to the
family that will be printed and posted in an area for them to see and/or placed
in a guest book. You can also view a live stream or recording of the service
when available. Specific details regarding these options can be found on the
individual’s obituary page.
For the message itself, simply
expressing your sympathy will be appreciated by the family. But if you knew the
deceased individual well, taking the time to share photos and memories is more
personal and might help provide the family with a deeper sense of comfort right
now. Think of it like giving a virtual hug.
Have Flowers or a Meal Delivered
Depending on what is available at the
time, you might still be able to place an order for flowers to be delivered to
the funeral home for the private service or to the family’s residence. Flowers
are a beautiful way to show you care and bring a bit of hope to a challenging
time. Another related idea is having a meal delivered to the family in the days
following the death of their loved one, which can help alleviate stress and
provide a bit of simple comfort. During the current pandemic, purchase food to
be delivered rather than bringing a homecooked meal. Many restaurants have
adopted creative methods to ensure safe practices and limit in-person contact.
Just be sure you make arrangements
with the family in advance for any delivery option, especially so that proper
safety guidelines can be maintained. Also, consider letting them know they
don’t need to write you a thank-you. That way they can focus on themselves and
Make a Donation
Now more than ever, perhaps one of
the most meaningful ways to honor someone who has passed is to make a donation
in their name. You could make a contribution to COVID-19 response efforts, but
you can also still opt for a personal route such as an organization related to
the individual’s interests or a charity they supported. Send the family a
message to let them know where you have donated to in memory of their loved one.
Visit the Gravesite
Gathering restrictions still apply at
the burial site, but you could consider visiting the grave on your own. To be
safe, refrain from touching the marker or any of the arrangements. Let the
family know you were there. They will appreciate knowing that you were thinking
of them and that you took the time to pay your respects to their loved one.
Follow Up Later
Write yourself a note or put a
reminder in your phone to connect with those who are grieving again at a later
date when the pandemic subsides or once the social distancing guidelines end.
It will still be just as important to offer your support at that time.