Commemorating Our Loved Ones When We Are Apart

Right now, in Manitoba, gatherings are not allowed. By the time you read this, it’s possible those restrictions will have been lifted somewhat, but it is likely that traditional funeral services will be impossible to have for a while still.

Pandemic or not, there are circumstances in which a loved one passes, and we’re unable to be near them and/or friends and family. Death can come, unbidden and unexpected - it cares not for global nor personal circumstances.

There are ways to honour your loved one and ways of gathering with friends and family, even when we’re physically distant. While traditional support - from friends coming by with meals to memorial services - may be out of reach, we can still support each other.

Postpone the Service

At this time, most funeral homes are allowing their clients to postpone services. For those who choose burial, we will continue to shelter your loved one until it’s time for the service. For those who choose cremation, you can keep the urn or other container in your home or another location of your choosing until the ceremony.

Conduct a Virtual Service

Many Winnipeg funeral homes, including our own, are offering virtual services. You have control over who is invited to the virtual service, whether or not it can be recorded, whether or not it’s streamed, who can speak when, and many other facets. These services can be customized like traditional services can. Even once gathering in large numbers is allowed, virtual services will probably continue to be popular for those who live out of the country or who otherwise can’t attend.

Rituals You Can Do While Physically Distanced

While some of the rituals and customs we all use to mourn and help us get through difficult times may be unavailable, there are still things we can do while physically apart. These include:

  • Asking friends and family to all light a candle in memory at the same time each day.

  • Arranging for phone calls or video calls.

  • Gathering together at your loved one’s preferred outdoor spot for a socially-distanced remembrance.

  • Listening together to your loved one’s dearest piece of music, or watching your loved one’s favourite movie together online.

  • Gathering stories, recipes, photos, or other memories of your loved one and sharing them online.

    These are just a few ideas - there’s no right way to mourn, and you, your friends, and your family can come up with other ideas of how you might best commemorate your loved one while physically distancing.

    Create New Traditions

    Traditions can change after the loss of a loved one - especially around the holidays. No matter when you lose your loved one, you might find new traditions to remember them by. You might also find that you stop enacting old traditions.

    Either way is okay - traditions change, and there’s no right way to grieve or mourn. Let changes come as they may - embrace those that empower you, and let go of those that don’t.

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