When you can’t say goodbye

One of the toughest challenges posed by Coronavirus in the last few months is that if someone you love dies, you may not be able to say goodbye in the traditional way, at their funeral.

The heart-breaking truth is that to keep everyone safe from the virus, funerals have not been able to be conducted as usual, and people have not been able to grieve together.

Funerals are still not back to normal, and at the time of writing the government is advising that only ‘modest’ numbers should attend.

This is a tragic and distressing time for everybody, but there are still ways to celebrate and mourn those we love and bid farewell in a meaningful way. Here are some ways we think might help if you’re are in this position.

  • If you are arranging the funeral, speak to your funeral director or celebrant to make sure you are clear on the rules (they can vary between providers). Discuss with them how you can share the service. They may be able to live stream it on Facebook, or you could film it or take photos to share afterwards.


  • It may be possible for the funeral to be live streamed on Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing software app which provides a remote conferencing service, combining video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. For more information and how to use it, go to: https://zoom.us/


  • After the funeral consider raising a toast and sharing stories via Zoom with others who couldn’t be there.


  • If you cannot attend the funeral and you are not technically minded and there’s no one to help, light a candle in front of a photograph of loved ones at the same time the funeral it is taking place, which will help to create an emotional connection. You could perhaps arrange with other members of the family or friends to all raise a glass at a certain time.


  • You could set up a memorial altar for them and offer up thoughts or prayers. Find pictures, play their favourite music, write them a message or follow any of your own cultural rituals.


  • Take a secluded walk at the time of the funeral (following government guidelines of course) and think about the happy times you shared with that person. Speaking out loud to the person you have lost and telling them you love them may help you feel you’ve said goodbye.


  • Stay in contact with other mourners by phone or online – and support others who are grieving. Even if you can’t see each other face to face, talking is so important – sharing feelings with someone will help, and don’t be afraid to allow silence, or tears.


  • Start planning a memorial event for the future. It will be a great way of saying goodbye and having everybody come together, even if it’s a few months down the line.

Campden Home Nursing offers free bereavement counselling to those within our defined geographical area. Our bereavement counsellors have many years’ experience.  Our counsellor said: ” The grief that comes with losing a loved one is one of the most painful things you can endure. But know that you and your loved ones will get through this. Whether we have the opportunity to say our goodbyes or not, we carry love and fond memories of those we love within us always.”

There is no charge for receiving counselling through Campden Home Nursing if you live within our geographically defined area. At the moment we are providing counselling via telephone and skype calls. Please do call us on 01386 840505 or email: info@campdenhomenursing.org if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Sources: www.cruse.com