It is important to stay up to date with new information being shared about Coronavirus and COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you have questions about funerals for those who have died from COVID-19, please visit the Q&A section of the CDC website. Some questions you may have might include:
- Am I at risk of contracting the virus if I attend a funeral service or visitation for someone who has died of COVID-19?
There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19. Anyone who is sick should stay home. These actions help prevent people from getting sick and help stop the spread of the virus. For further information please visit the Q&A section of the CDC website.
- Am I at risk of contracting the virus if I touch someone who has died of COVID-19 once they have passed away?
You should avoid touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19, before the body is prepared for viewing. After any contact with the body, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. For further information please visit the Q&A section of the CDC website.
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What To Do When a Funeral Is Delayed or Not an Option
We understand that it can be incredibly difficult to accept that a celebration of life for a loved one might not currently be possible or that a service has been delayed until further notice. At Hollywood Forever Cemetery, we are dedicated to assisting you as best we can. Take heart in knowing that once it is safe for you and your loved ones to gather, you have many memorial service options. You can begin to plan at any time with our dedicated funeral staff, whether you want a more traditional funeral service or a smaller private gathering with your closest family members and friends.
Making Plans for the Memorial Service
Due to the pandemic, you may not be able to plan your preferred memorial service. In this case, we encourage you to plan for a more traditional service to be held in the future when CDC restrictions have been lifted. Delaying a memorial service may be difficult, but there can also be advantages.
Oftentimes funeral services are planned during the time immediately after the loss of a loved one. Planning for a memorial service weeks or months after the death of your loved one can give you the time you need to create a service that is truly meaningful. The additional time will also allow friends and family members to attend who might not have been able to because of distance or prior obligations.
There are many ways in which to make your loved one’s service meaningful. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is here to help you make these decisions.
Some memorial service ideas may include:
- Displaying photographs or mementos.
- Showing movies or home videos.
- Inviting a clergy member or celebrant to officiate the service.
- Playing music, whether it be your loved one’s favorite song or a beloved hymn.
- Asking family members or a friend to read text loved by the deceased.
- Inviting those in attendance to share a funny anecdote about your loved one.
- Serving refreshments or food that your loved one enjoyed.
Self-Care and Connection
During these difficult times, staying connected with your friends and practicing self-care has never been more important. While it may be some time before you can find comfort through a gathering of your friends and family, you should still be gentle with yourself as your journey through the grieving process begins.
Some self-care and connection ideas include:
- Posting about your loved one’s passing on social media. Invite friends and family to post their stories, photos, and memories they shared with the deceased.
- Posting an obituary in the local newspaper. While this is an older tradition, seeing your loved one’s life celebration in ink can provide a sense of comfort and closure.
- Writing a newsletter about your loved one’s incredible life. Send this to friends and family while inviting them to respond with their own stories.
- Staying connected with friends and family with a phone call or video meeting. Those closest to you will love to hear from you. Speaking openly about your loss while celebrating a life lived can be a powerful healing tool.
- Writing in a journal. This private expression of your feelings and thoughts will help you process your grief experience. Feel free to share with others if that is something you are comfortable doing.
Supporting Loved Ones When a Funeral Service Isn’t Possible
Funeral services allow grieving loved ones to offer support to one another. Understandably, not being able to have a funeral or memorial service during these unprecedented times can be a very difficult reality to face. However, there are still ways to support your friends and family, even from a distance.
- Check in often. Send a text. Make a call. Start a video chat. Grief often feels very isolating, a feeling that is greatly magnified as people keep their distance from one another. Staying connected and reaching out to loved ones makes all the difference. Ask how they’re doing, or simply sit in silence with one another.
- Donate to a charity or cause that the deceased believed in strongly. You may choose to donate in your loved one’s name and later contact the family with a personal note to let them know about the donation.
- Send a sympathy card. Include a personal note with a memory you have of the deceased. Tell a funny story or simply let them know how much this person meant to you.
- Make plans for the future. We all need something to look forward to. Offer to have the friends or family member of the deceased over for a celebration of life dinner once social distancing regulations permit.
- Have food delivered. Planning a meal can be difficult when living in a fog of grief. Relieve some of the pressure from your friend or family member by having food that you know they love delivered to them. You might also send a meal that the deceased loved as a way to celebrate their life.
We are here for you.