Grieving during a pandemic

When a loved one dies, a funeral or memorial service is an important part of a healthy grieving process. While this ritual is a way to honor the life of a loved one and share your memories with others who cared for them, it is also the beginning of a new chapter for the survivors, the beginning of a healing process.

Sadly, we are hearing about so much loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us may know someone who has succumbed to coronavirus, yet every loss during a time without the foundation of our rituals is especially hard to witness.

Emotional pain may be compounded when a funeral ritual or memorial service cannot be held in-person or must be dramatically scaled down during this health crisis. Many funeral homes offer alternative or modified ways to honor your loved one, all of which can try to replace those critical first steps to your grieving process.

Funerals in the time of a pandemic

This pandemic certainly has changed how we say goodbye to a loved one. Still, the memorial ceremony is an important part of the grieving process.

While you may not be able to hold the funeral service or memorial you or your family envisioned right now, many funeral homes encourage families to still have a private goodbye with a smaller group of people, while observing social distancing guidelines. Burials can also be performed following the prescribed guidelines.

Another option offered by funeral homes is a virtual service. Many mourners are opting to set up a livestream or videoconference gathering, which allows a group of people from all over the country to experience a service while connecting with fellow mourners and loved ones as well.

Grieving families are encouraged to have an in-person memorial service at a later date in order to experience the important tactile comfort one gets from seeing and hugging your community in person.

Your funeral director can discuss all of the options for honoring your loved one to begin the essential grieving and healing process. Remember, it doesn’t matter how you honor your loved one, just that you do.

Seeking out support for your grief

Funeral home staff members are experts trained in helping families with the feelings they are experiencing during the time following a loss. Family members who call their local funeral home, like Memorial Funeral Home in Newport, Rhode Island, have access to a team of experienced professionals who truly understand grief. Immediate individual grief support is available. The current circumstances require compassionate understanding about how unique this situation is and how difficult it is to grieve without the social dynamic of a ceremony.

Each family’s loss is different, and the team at Memorial Funeral Homes can help guide your coping strategies and provide advice on reflecting in private, the importance of reminiscing with your family and friends — even if it’s on the phone or through videoconferencing. It is important to allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions during mourning.

Get more help with grief from these valuable resources and sign up for A Year of Daily Grief Support from Memorial Funeral Home. You will receive a grief support message each day for an entire year.

Funeral Directors around the country recognize the seriousness of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and are doing everything they can to keep their facilities, staff and the families that they serve safe. If you do decide to hold a small gathering, know that the space and equipment are clean and sanitized, and that they are implementing the necessary distancing practices.

The caring and compassionate staff at Memorial Funeral Homes are available whenever you need them, before, during and after the service. If you have questions about service options, please call 401-846-0698, so they can begin the process of listening to your needs and creating solutions that work for your family.

As seen on

Get a Free Printable

Planning Guide

Download Now