Doesn’t matter how much you may try to prepare yourself for the departure of your loved one, when it actually happens it may leave you feeling deep sadness, despair and helplessness. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, whether it’s your mum, dad, friend, partner, child or neighbour.
Attending a funeral is an important part of saying goodbye. It’s the first step to accepting reality and starting the bereavement journey. For many, it can mark a significant healing process and can bring comfort during the grieving stage.
Death is usually unexpected and there could be many good reasons that you are unable to be present at the funeral. This could be due to the illness or living in a different country or you find yourself debating whether it’s appropriate for you to attend the funeral. Despite all the different reasons you might have, there are still lots of things that you can do to pay tribute and respect to the family and the deceased person.
Live Stream The Service
Ask the funeral director or research yourself for funeral live streaming services near you. This is a great way of participating in real-time at the funeral service. A professional live streaming company will be unobtrusive, will set up their camera in advance of the service, will provide professional microphones, will create a live streaming link for you and make the arrangements with the venue to ensure that they have access and permission to stream the service.
Many people will benefit from this service, feeling that they are part of it. In addition to that, live streaming is also recorded hence why you and the rest of the people that knew the deceased person will be able to re-watch the service as often as they like, keeping the memories alive and helping them to move on with their life.
Send Condolence Card And/Or Flowers
Sending a sympathy or condolence message card is always a safe way of paying a tribute to a family and letting them know that you remember. The same with flowers. However, be aware of the cultural difference as in some countries there is no tradition of sending flowers and it might be perceived as inappropriate.
Making A Donation
In the United Kingdom as well as in other parts of Europe sending a donation to a nominated charity has become very popular. This charity usually is a way of respecting the wishes of the person that died as they could either be passionate about a particular charity or it helped them during the end of life period.
A funeral can be a big expense for many families. Some families choose to ask to contribute toward the costs of the funeral in which case a funeral director will set up a contribution page. This can be a very helpful and positive way of giving support and presence at the funeral.
If you live nearby, making fresh food for those that are left with grief will not cause you much effort. Everyone needs to eat but often the grieving person has no energy to think about making a healthy meal for themselves or the family around. Nowadays, there are many companies that send platters with fresh and healthy meals. Explore those options if you struggle to make time to cook yourself.
Long Term Support
Studies say that the period after the funeral is what is the most lonely time for the grieving person. Up to the funeral and the funeral itself they receive phone calls, cards, messages or family visits, however, after the funeral busy life gets in the way, everyone moves on and they are left lonely as ever before. This could be the time when you can make a difference and step in. Take them for a walk or to a cinema, give them a ring or send regular texts to suggest spending time together to start creating new memories.
Death takes something away from us, something so valuable but at the same time, it opens our eyes to new reality and thinking. Being aware that nothing lasts forever helps us to appreciate what we have today. Be for each other, be kind!