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Coronavirus: Planning a funeral

The current restrictions mean that only a small number of people can attend funerals, cremations and wakes for their loved ones during the coronavirus crisis. Many funeral directors are limiting numbers to 10 immediate friends and family. And, of course, everyone must abide by social distancing rules while at the funeral, which makes hugging and comforting each other difficult.

We would advise anyone who is planning a funeral at this difficult time to speak to your funeral director or celebrant to make sure you are clear on the rules, which can vary between providers.

While it may not be possible to offer the funeral service you would have liked for your loved one, funerals can still be personal and meaningful, even if the experience is different than you’d originally imagined.

Talking Death have put together a list of ideas and guidance on how to plan an alternative funeral that will help you to honour the death of your loved one in a personal way under the current restrictions.

For some funerals, it may be possible to live stream the service so that people who can’t attend in person are able to feel part of the ceremony. Alternatively, you could arrange for the service to be filmed or you could take photos to share afterwards so that everyone feels involved. Speak to your funeral director or celebrant about the options available.

Other tips suggested by our friends at the bereavement charity Cruse include:

  • Ask people to share an anecdote of the person that you can read out at the funeral. 
  • Set a time for the same day to hold a wake or gathering online or on the phone. 

According to The Guardian, there has also been a rise in direct cremations, which is a simple, low-cost option where typically there is no funeral service and no family or friends present. Prices can start at less than £1,000. This leaves families free to organise a more personal celebration of your loved one’s life.

One option that many families are finding comforting is to plan a Memorial service once the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, which will allow family and friends to gather together and remember your loved one at a future date.

Read more at Memorials.