Remembering A Life is a consumer education initiative created by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). NFDA is the world's leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please contact 800-228-6332 or visit www.nfda.org.
When a Loved One Dies During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on how we live and work, limiting our ability to interact with others and freely move about in the world. Tragically, it’s also affecting our ability to pay tribute to loved ones who have died.
Unfortunately, if a loved one dies during the pandemic, regardless of the circumstances of their death, it is unlikely that a traditional funeral or memorial service will be possible, at least in the immediate future. There are still things you can do, however, to honor your loved one, or to support someone who has experienced the death of a family member or friend.
Honoring the Lives of Loved Ones and Others Who Died During the Pandemic
If you’re grieving the death of a loved one who died during the pandemic, either from COVID-19 or other causes, you may find your grief journey to be more complex than it would have been under more normal circumstances. Know that you are not alone. Isolation, ongoing uncertainty and not having had a traditional gathering to say goodbye to a loved one can complicate our grief and make it more difficult to begin to grieve.
In addition, as a nation and a world, many of us find ourselves collectively mourning everyone who has died during the pandemic. The magnitude and impact of our losses will be felt for years to come.
Whether you’re mourning the loss of someone you know or are moved by the sheer number of people who have died overall, one of the best ways to honor our grief is by remembering the lives of those who have died.
HONORING A LIFE
Our lives are full of special moments and wonderful memories. When a loved one dies, sharing those moments and memories through a tribute that beautifully memorializes a life lived, provides family and friends with the opportunity to reflect and remember.
Honoring a loved one's life after death recognizes the impact he or she had on the lives of others through their family, work and community involvement. In gathering to honor a life, we learn about the ways in which our loved one shaped the lives of others. It is an opportunity to share stories and memories that helped define who our loved one was in addition to ensuring they live on.
For surviving family and friends, honoring a life also creates a bridge between the loved one's death and the beginning of the grieving process. Honoring a life through a funeral or memorial service provides a social support system for grieving family and friends, eases the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one and reaffirms one's relationship with the person who died. It also provides a time to say good-bye, surrounded by the comfort of others who are also grieving.
Learn more HERE.
Grief is not just a feeling. It is dozens of feelings—sometimes contradictory feelings—that are a response to losing someone you love. Grief is not just an emotion either. Grief is a physical response with ailments, aches, and fatigue. It is an intellectual experience that asks a lot of hard questions about life, your relationship, what happened, and the future. Grief is also a spiritual experience that asks us the meaning and purpose of this suffering.
Because grief is such a complex experience that is different for every person, it is important to find support and take good care of your emotional and physical needs. While grief is a normal part of being human, it can further complicate your life if you don’t take care of your feelings and body.
WHEN A DEATH OCCURS
Many questions and concerns can come up between the time of death and when the family sits down to make arrangements. Below is helpful information on what you may be able to expect or actions that can be taken when that time comes.
Learn more HERE.
PLANNING IN ADVANCE
The decision to preplan your funeral is a very personal one. It is very normal to approach this decision with a great amount of anxiety due to the sensitivity that can surround this subject. Those who ultimately take the important step of documenting their wishes regarding their funeral and ultimately sharing these decisions with loved ones usually express a great sense of comfort and relief.
Learn more HERE.
PLANNING A SERVICE
There are endless options and opportunities when planning a service for your loved one, whether you decide to plan a service that takes place at your church, funeral home or other location of your choice. Regardless of where the service is held, it should reflect the life of your loved one and the impact they had on the lives of others. It should also address the needs of surviving family and friends as they begin the process of accepting the death and grieving.
Learn more HERE.