The COVID-19 pandemic had added new dimensions to the already-challenging grieving process.
With social distancing mandated nationwide, gatherings severely limited by most state officials, and stay-at-home orders in effect, it’s forcing bereaved family and friends to be separated from one another at a time when these supportive networks are needed the most. It also disrupts the ability for survivors to properly process their grief and experience the closure that funeral services provide through a shared response to loss.
The science of mourning isn’t exact but studies suggest that rituals help the bereaved.
They bring some immediate relief to acute grief, and they establish formal avenues of coping and social support. Holding a funeral and saying goodbye to a loved one’s body essentially marks the rift between life and death. In a broader sense, it’s a means of mentally and emotionally putting the past on hold. When people can’t participate in this rite of passage, it may feel that mourning too is on hold.
We’re here to help you through the coronavirus crisis.
While these current challenges are unlike anything any of us has ever experienced, we assure you that we remain focused on your safety and on providing the same first-class, dignified service for which we are renowned. We are employing a number of options to make it safer for family members and friends to grieve at a time when in-person assembly can’t take place, including:
- Connection through technology. The live streaming of funerals and memorial services give families the peace of mind that they can still mourn together, even when they’re physically apart. In addition to these live feeds, we provide a recording of the funeral event so that it can be viewed anytime and retained for future generations.
- Online memorials and video condolences bring comfort. Our interactive tool creates an archive of treasured words of comfort, photographs, and stories shared by friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. You can invite others to visit the online memorial, where they can upload video condolences and images, send a sympathy card, write messages of condolence, or even make a charitable donation in memory of your loved one.
- Memorial services can be held at a later date. For some families, holding a memorial service in the future is a good alternative to a traditional funeral. If you’re planning on burial, you could opt to have an intimate private graveside service now and plan a larger public memorial service later, when it’s safe to gather publicly. For cremation, you can have a small, private family gathering at the crematorium or funeral home if you wish, or you can skip that step and simply plan for a memorial service at a later date.
How can you help someone who’s recently endured a loss?
Although this is a challenging time and gathering to pay respects in the traditional way isn’t possible right now, you can still reach out and support those who have lost a loved one:
- Share fond memories of the deceased through calls, emails, cards, and video chats
- Write a condolence letter to express your feelings of sadness over the loss
- Arrange a meal delivery to help lighten the load of those who are deeply bereaved
Grief comes in many forms and for many reasons.
Even if you haven’t lost a loved one during this national emergency, you may still be experiencing feelings of woe, anxiety, uncertainty and/or depression. Here are some helpful tips for handling these emotions during this national emergency:
- Keep your emotional support network intact. This is especially important while social distancing is required. Make sure you have someone to talk with about your concerns, problems, and apprehensions, even if it’s only through texts or phone calls.
- Create media boundaries. Listening to the news all day results in a bombardment of negativity, which can contribute to higher levels of grief and anxiety.
- Educate yourself on COVID-19. The more prepared you to take proper precautions, the less anxiety you’re likely to experience. Sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization can provide reliable, accurate information about the pandemic.
- Learn to relax your mind. There are many different mindfulness apps available to help escape grief and anxiety. Learn how to meditate and take your mind off of the current state of the world.
- Know that you aren’t alone. Isolation breeds anxiety. Although you may not be able to meet physically with others, remember that now more than ever, the entire world is in this situation together.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we’ll be there when you need us. If you have questions or need to make funeral arrangements, please contact our caring professionals.
About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit https://www.evanwsmithfuneralservices.com/.