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Funerals during pandemic

As a Civil Celebrant who takes funerals, I am very aware of the pain caused to so many families who are unable to have a ‘proper’ service for their loved one during these very unusual times. Churches are closed, crematoria are limiting numbers, and things may well become even harder as the pandemic continues with people having to accept cremation without any ceremony.
Even when a service can be held, many people won’t be able to attend – you may well be front line health and emergency service providers who have to be on duty, you may be self-isolating or unable to travel. There are many reasons why you’re not able to say that final goodbye to your loved one. If they died in hospital you won’t even have been able to visit them at the end.
Several years’ experience has shown me that one of the key elements of saying that final goodbye to a loved one is putting together the service - choosing music, readings, and preparing a eulogy. Families always get great comfort from remembering the deceased through anecdotes, and there is often a great deal of laughter as well as tears when I meet them to discuss the funeral.
During the pandemic I am offering a free service to families whereby we do everything we would normally do – talk on the phone/FaceTime/Zoom (replacing face to face meetings), put together a service which I will send to you so you can share it with one another. You may even decide to hold a mini service in your home.
As it will all be done online there are no geographical limits – you can be anywhere in the UK, but as I am only one person and each service will be totally personal to you, I have to be realistic on what I can provide - so am offering this service FREE, for the duration of the pandemic to::
1. The next of kin to the deceased i.e. only one contact.
2. I will always prioritise anyone who is a ‘front line’ worker in the NHS or one of the emergency services.
As I will be providing my services free of charge, all I ask is that any phone calls are made from you to me i.e. at your cost. Most of our contact can be by email, but I would like to talk to you when we are planning the service.
If this is something you think would help you/your family please email me in the first instance [email protected] and tell me a little about your circumstances. These are challenging times for all of us, but if I can help you a little as you try and deal with your grief then please contact me.

published 28th Apr 2020, 2.13pm (about over 2 years ago)

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