Covid has hit a lot of people a lot of different ways. Some have lost their jobs or businesses and some have lost people they care about. There are times when it feels like life is just out of our hands! There are certain areas of life that we’ve just taken for granted happen in one way only, and yet, that’s no longer true.
Take funerals for example. This is one area we’re all very grateful to be able to leave things to the experts. They know what they’re doing, how to do it and so we all just leave them to it. Funeral Directors are respected and valued because they take care of things that we just can’t begin to wrap our minds around, especially when we’ve found ourselves in a state of recent loss and bereavement.
But Covid threw even Funeral Directors for a loop because suddenly, there came a real demand for allowing virtual access to the proceedings.
What some funeral homes might have organised (albeit infrequently) in the past involving live streaming a funeral or something similar, suddenly needed to be taken to a whole new level. Suddenly more mourners were actively engaged online than were present in person and – from my own experience – I can say they are still not all that prepared to deliver what people want.
Let’s start with the basics. When attending the funeral, what you want is a silent space where you can listen to the celebrant, rabbi or priest who is presiding over the ceremony. You don’t want to hear other people talking through the ceremony, disrupting your opportunity to mourn.
When attending a funeral online, you want to be able to see and hear what is going on without interruption. You don’t want a shaky camera making you feel queasy, to be swept around and left staring at the ground or the wall or to find the meeting host lost connection or even worse – locked you out before you were even able to join!
After the funeral, whether you’re attending in person or virtually, you want to have a space to chat with other mourners, to potentially share stories or just keep one another company. You don’t want to be kicked out and left on your own, sobbing into the bottom of a box of tissues thinking – ‘Now what?’.
And so, following a very mixed bag experience of an online funeral for someone very dear to me, I came up with an event planner’s solution to what appeared to be a pretty big challenge to the funeral industry.
I created a template design plan that acknowledges there are mourners who will want to attend funerals online, not just through Covid but very likely long after this pandemic is over. After all, people live all over the world and it’s just not always practical to fly halfway around the world to attend a funeral in person. So we need a compromise. A funeral hybrid, so to speak, in which mourners online and in-person get to follow a professionally planned and seamlessly delivered funeral experience that provides space to mourn, space to celebrate a life that will be missed and space for solitude and memories as desired.
Why should we make such an integral part of living so much more difficult than it has to be? And if there’s a chance that we can help others to have a better life experience – especially at such a dark time as this – than why wouldn’t we try and share it.
To learn more about our virtual funeral/memorial/celebration of life events, please get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.