Families struggle to cope with grief during Covid-19 pandemic
As many people are passing away due to Coronavirus related deaths or even non-related Coronavirus deaths at this time, families are struggling to create an atmosphere for their loved ones that have passed away by not having the option to invite the people they would like to have at the crematorium or funeral service due to the Covid-19 restrictions that have been imposed.
According to the UK Government site, every person in attendance at a crematorium or funeral service, should continue to follow the social distancing policy – standing or sitting 2 meters (6 ft.) a part. Also, only 10 attendees are allowed at the crematorium or funeral service, which includes:
- members of the person’s household
- close family members
- or if the above are unable to attend, close friends
- attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this
More information can be found here for managing a funeral during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Because families are so restricted to how they can plan a funeral or crematorium service, this can often cause more inflicted pain for families that are already grieving for their passing of their loved ones. Therefore, including a Life Celebrant can be a helpful resource to get families through this grieving process. Life Celebrants do their best to make the funeral or crematorium service as personable for the family members as possible.
According to Altmeyer – Funeral Homes & Crematory, “Celebrants sit with loved ones in the days prior to a service and listen to stories and interests. Then they create a personalized service based on the individual and their beliefs.”
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and people continue to pass away, Positive Psychologist and Life Celebrant Sacha Marie Mulligan does her best to create an atmosphere for each family that is grieving at this time, so that she can create a special service for their loved ones life who have passed away.
Covid-19 has changed how a Life Celebrant is able to work and comfort those who are grieving
Life Celebrant, Sacha Marie Mulligan and I set up a Zoom meeting to discuss how she has been able to perform her job effectively during this pandemic. Mulligan said, normally she would go to people’s houses to discuss the arrangements for the family member who have passed away; however, despite the Coronavirus circumstances she is unable to do so.
Mulligan has had to discuss the funeral or crematorium arrangements either through Zoom or simply just speaking about it on the telephone. After she has discussed with the family members what type of person – the deceased – who they were and whether or not they have a religious preference, Mulligan begins to organise a personal service for the family and their lost loved one. However, despite the extreme changes that have been imposed, Mulligan has had to get creative at times to create an atmosphere that the families would appreciate.
“One crematorium is now not offering music or a livestream, as such. However, most of the crematoriums do offer a livestream, so that people can click the link and watch it from the computer or their phones, but one of crematoriums is not offering any music. So what I’m doing is downloading music choices onto my phone taking my speaker and playing it myself for them, because it’s already a time that their struggling and grieving and then to add restrictions that they can’t celebrate somebody’s life as they would normally.” – Life Celebrant, Sacha Marie Mulligan
Once the crematorium or funeral services are over, Mulligan is having a really hard time with being able to comfort the families or accept their gratitude for what she has done to provide such a personable ceremony for their loved ones.
“For me, normally at the end of the service, families are so grateful for what I’ve done, that they normally would want to give me a hug, or a shake of a people’s hands, when they come out, and not being able to do that has been really tough for me. Because you know I’m watching people grieving. I’m watching people crying constantly. And naturally all I want to do is give them a hug. So not being able to do that, I’m finding it really difficult.” – Life Celebrant, Sacha Marie Mulligan
With considerations to how funeral and crematorium services are performed and operated due to the Covid-19 pandemic – Life Celebrant – Sacha Marie Mulligan offers a personal message to those families who are struggling loosing loved ones at this time:
“It doesn’t matter how many people are at a funeral service. It doesn’t mean that they’re not getting the send off that they deserve… you’re the ones that they loved and you loved them and it doesn’t matter how many people are there. Just know that they were loved and you were loved by them and just really try not to overthink everything. For example – thinking, ‘This isn’t what my dad or mum would have wanted.’ Just know it’s out of our control and let’s do the best with what we have and what we can do.” – Life Celebrant, Sacha Marie Mulligan
Final words from Life Celebrant, Sacha Marie Mulligan:
“Just be grateful, because when you’re grateful you cannot be in a negative state of mind. Your mind doesn’t let you, so just look around and see what you can be grateful for.” – Life Celebrant, Sacha Marie Mulligan
Zoom interview featured below: To hear the full interview I had with Life Celebrant Sacha Marie Mulligan and what else she had to say, please press ▶️ on the video below.