Five Tips for Planning a Remote Funeral or Memorial During Coronavirus

October 16, 2020 10:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Currently, Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. is limiting funerals, visitations and memorial services to 50 participants and requiring social distancing. This makes memorial planning during COVID-19 challenging, and even if you make a successful effort, there will be guests who cannot attend due to their risk factors. You can include them by offering remote attendance at the funeral of your loved one. Here are five tips for planning memorials during COVID-19 in Chicago, IL:

  • Choose a platform: Zoom, Skype and YouTube contain the tools to make remote funerals possible. You can even record the service for people to watch later if they are unable to attend while it is livestreaming. If you are affiliated with a religious organization, they likely already have the technology to do this and have developed proficiency over the past six months. Otherwise, all it takes is a computer, a camera and the right settings to keep out unwanted guests. Be sure to activate chat so those who are attending remotely can discuss their feelings and send thoughts.
  • Encourage socially distanced support: If you need something a bit more interactive, a vigil is a good solution. Make it easy for people to offer their condolences. Light a candle in your window so people can honk support for you. Leave a box in your driveway for friends and relatives to drop off condolence cards and gifts. Just monitor the box carefully so nothing sits overnight. Also, do not forget to wash your hands after handling items.
  • Create an outsourced photo album or scrapbook: Ask your friends and relatives to send memorable photos of the deceased. Start compiling them into an online scrapbook that also includes memories like stories and memorable text messages. You can put it together in a Google photo album or even a giant Google document. Convert it to PDF and allow those in mourning to download it.
  • Plan a second memorial: It is not uncommon for some of our customers to delay the in-person memorial service by months, especially if the deceased is cremated and friends and relatives must travel in from far away. Likewise, you can plan either a later memorial service or conduct it in two parts. The first memorial service will be subject to limitations, and you can cap that at 50 people who live close by and are not at high risk for COVID-19 complications. Then, when the restrictions lift, hold a celebration of life that includes many more people.
  • Accept help: If you are overwhelmed with the work of daily life or emotions, reach out to others. Let people volunteer for food deliveries, technical setup for a Zoom funeral and sending invites and informing guests of precautions. If the deceased’s estate is going to probate and you are their representative, focus on those efforts and listen to your attorney. This is not a time to know and do everything.

Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. is a family owned and operated funeral home in Chicago, IL. We are prepared to help you with memorial planning during COVID-19 and will do so in a way that keeps everyone safe. Call us today to start planning your loved one’s memorial during COVID-19.

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