Remembering a loved one during the Covid-19 pandemic

The loss of a loved one can be one of hardest experiences we ever have to face, but the Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on funerals and the way that we are able to celebrate the life of someone who has died. As of 29th March, government advice dictates that only immediate family members – or a small number of close friends if no family members are in attendance - are able to attend funerals (Up to date advice about funerals can be found here).

It can feel like this important ritual - where we gather to celebrate a loved one, share memories and comfort one another - has been taken from us. It can also feel harder to access the support networks that are so important during grief, as we are unable to occupy ourselves with some of the usual activities that make us feel better or even share a hug with friends or family.  

We know that this is extremely tough for bereaved families, and so we wanted to share some ideas which could help to make this time a little easier.


The Funeral

In these unusual circumstances, some funeral directors are making use of technology so that family and friends unable to physically attend a funeral can attend from afar. This way you are able to come together, albeit virtually, to remember the person for whom you all shared love and respect. This can help people to feel that they have not missed out on the opportunity to pay their respects or to say goodbye. If you are unable to stream the service live, you could consider asking someone to film a video which could be shared afterwards with those who were unable to attend.  

You may like to invite family and friends who can’t attend to provide photos or memories for the funeral. These could be included in the order of service, or even in a slide show to be played during the service.


If you are unable to attend a funeral, why not set aside the time and have your own moment of reflection to remember the person who has died. You might choose to look at photographs, listen to a particular piece of music or write down some special memories.


Set up an online tribute

It is common at a funeral wake for guests to share anecdotes and memories about the person who has died. Whilst traditional wakes are not possible, some people are choosing to create online tributes; sharing photographs, lighting virtual candles and posting messages of support to the family. There is also the option to collect donations for charity in memory of your loved one.

You can set up an online tribute at:


Plan a celebration of life

Some families are planning to host celebrations of life in future, when guidelines allow. You could use this time to plan a service or gathering that you may have a little more control over. It could also be a chance to fulfil some of your loved one’s wishes that are not currently possible. I

If you’d like to collect donations in memory of your loved one at a Celebration of Life, you can request specially designed donation envelopes from CancerCare by calling 03330 150 628 or emailing


Take care of you

We’re facing a situation which we’ve never experienced before and feelings of loneliness and grief could be more intense in these circumstances.

If you are experiencing the loss of a loved one during the pandemic, we are here to help.

Call : 03330 150 628  Email:

This service is offered, free of charge, by CancerCare and is available to anyone bereaved of any cause across North Lancashire & South Cumbria.

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