FEBRUARY 2021 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 49
COPING WITH DEATH
SOCIALLY DISTANT FUNERALS
THE WHITMORE AGENCY
F U N E R A L S E R V I C E S
Coping with the loss of a loved one can
be challenging in the best of times, but
many people have had to confront such
challenges at a time that is unlike any
other in modern history.
By Jan. 25, the World Health Organization
reported that roughly 2,124,193 people
across the globe had died from the
novel coronavirus Covid-19. Many of the
215 countries, areas or territories that
reported cases of Covid-19 implemented
social distancing measures in an effort
to reduce the spread of the virus. While
such efforts no doubt saved lives, they
have also left many people without traditional
means of grieving their deceased
loved ones. For example, in March
2020 the Church of England limited
the number of people who could attend
funerals to immediate family members
only, while restrictions on gatherings in
the United States made it difficult if not
impossible for more than 10 people to
grieve together in person.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
notes that grief is a normal response
to losing a loved one. In addition,
the American Psychological Association
says that research has shown that social
support can help people recover from
Though traditional funerals and family
gatherings may not be possible as the
world responds to the Covid-19 outbreak,
those who have lost loved ones
can embrace various strategies to cope
with their loss even while stay-at-home
orders remain in place.
HOST CALLS WITH LOVED
The videotelephone and chat service
Zoom has helped millions of people stay
connected with loved ones while social
distancing. Schools and universities
even employed the service when in-person
classroom sessions were canceled
to stop the spread of the virus. The CDC
recommends that grieving families
employ such technology to connect with
each other after a loved one’s death.
Grieving family members are urged to
share stories and pictures much as they
would during wakes and funerals. Share
them during group conference calls and/
or via social media, emails, or other
modern modes of communications.
Connecting in such ways can ensure no
one is forced to grieve alone.
SEEK COMMUNITY SUPPORT
The CDC recommends seeking support
from faith-based organizations or other
trusted community leaders and friends.
While in-person church services may
not be available, many local religious
leaders have made themselves available
to congregants and even non-congregants
who may need help grieving.
Local community organizations may
have grief counselors available to help
people cope with loss.
Take part in an activity that meant something
to you and your deceased loved
one. The CDC notes that doing something
in memory of a loved one can help people
cope. For example, plant flowers in honor
of a deceased parent with whom you
shared a love of gardening.
Confronting the loss of a loved one
during the Covid-19 pandemic can be
challenging. But families can still overcome
this challenge even if they cannot
gather together in person.
-Metro Creative Connection
“Confronting the loss of a loved one during the
Covid-19 pandemic can be challenging.”