Coming together in memory of loved ones as funeral restrictions ease
The importance of coming together in memory of loved ones as funeral restrictions ease
Restrictions have now thankfully been lifted on funeral services. Mark Clements, Regional Support Manager at Funeral Partners, writes about the importance of coming together to remember loved ones and how Tribute pageshave helped families around the world unite.
It is always difficult losing a loved one and the Covid-19 pandemic has made it even more painful for families, with churches and cemeteries closing and limits being placed on the number of mourners allowed to attend funerals and wakes.
The ability for friends, family and communities to come together both physically and emotionally is so important for the bereavement process, which is why at Funeral Partners we are delighted to see restrictions on funeral services relax with no overall limit on the number of mourners allowed to attend funerals as the government’s timeline moves to stage three from May 17. However, certain venues will still have limits in place regarding the number of mourners permitted in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
For more than a year our 200 funeral homes across the UK have worked hard to help families mourn their loved ones together through utilising technology, such as live-streamed funeral services, amidst social distancing restrictions. It has been a welcome facility to mourners and helped them still feel part of the funeral service, with a chance to say their goodbyes in a different way.
Our funeral homes have also been able to help families unite from around the world by setting up pages on MuchLoved, the online tribute platform, where friends and relatives can post videos and images, share memories and more, as well as donate to charity, in memory of their loved ones. Collectively, Funeral Partners’ funeral homes have helped their clients and families raise over £1m for charity across 2020 via the MuchLoved tribute pages. These funds have been gratefully received by charities who have seen their fundraising activities severely affected by the pandemic, including Thames Hospice who have a Forget-me-not Tributespage where supporters can also set a page up for their loved one themselves if they wish.
E Sargeant & Son Funeral Directors, which has funeral homes in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, has supported Thames Hospice by committing to raise £10,000 for the charity every year for five years through a number of sponsored activities and events. With the initiative now in its fourth year, the funeral directors has been undeterred by the Covid-19 pandemic and is on track to reach its £50,000 goal.
The emotional comfort now felt by many families with more mourners being allowed at funerals indicates a welcome return to normality, and we look forward to seeing the return of physical comfort. However, Funeral Partners understands that since March many people have not been able to give their loved ones the send-off they had wished for. We have therefore responded by offering Celebration of Life services, which are memorial services planned in a similar way to funerals.
These services can include a Funeral Director, as well as limousine transport, at a suitable venue, and are occasions for family and friends to get together, share memories and celebrate the life of the deceased when restrictions have been lifted.
We are optimistic that further restrictions will soon ease, allowing families and friends to unite and say goodbye to their loved ones in the way that they choose.
Mark Clements, Regional Support Manager at Funeral Partners
Photo description: Michelle Shayler, Funeral arranger/Adminstrator at E Sargeant & Sons Funeral Directors, utilising video conferencing technology to work with her colleagues