Grieving and Coronavirus

Grieving during a Pandemic

Editor: A neighbor and friend passed yesterday after a long illness not related to Covid-19. Our entire community will miss Bill. As I called his life partner, I thought about funeral arrangements. We are all in Rockland County, NY where the local and state authorities have acted decisively and banned public gatherings of 50 or more, catered events, and much more. What a terrible time to face the usual challenges of bereavement when you are being told to stay home!

AfterTAlk Grief Support

In recent years there has been a trend to hold a very small, immediate family only burial or cremation service followed by a memorial service at a later date. This might be the year to consider this, although certain cultures might find this in contradiction to their ritual observances.

Sunset Funeral Homes in Illinois has devised this plan for its funerals:

1.  Our staff will make environmental cleaning procedures top priority at our facilities. Every 4 hours all door handles, knobs, faucets, toilets, water fountains, as well as any surfaces that come into human contact will be diligently cleaned with an antibacterial agent.

2  .Hot beverage service to the public will be suspended during this time to limit exposure. Individual water bottles will be available by request (for as long as water bottle are available to us).

3.  personal space zone (distance of 6 ft.) will be created between visitors and family members of the deceased to keep from spreading of the virus by personal contact.

4.  As per recommendation of the CDC public events need to be kept to a maximum of 10 people or less. Our directing staff will present several options to your family in regard to keeping you safe and still allowing you to have some type of a service. These are unprecedented times so we promise to be reasonable and flexible.

5.  Posters created by the Center for Disease Control with information on the virus and how to protect yourself from contracting it will be posted throughout our facility.

6.  Hand sanitizer and Kleenex will be available.

7.  Systems will be put into place to give the general public an opportunity to come, honor, and pay their respects in a less crowded environment.

8.  Only with the permission of Next of kin of the deceased, systems will be put into place to make available Celebration of Life events electronically (on a delayed schedule) over the internet.


Here’s a news broadcast about funeral live streaming:

Here is a good, detailed video on how to live stream a funeral:


Every Thursday we publish “AfterTalk Weekly.” We invite readers to submit their own poem, essay, or suggestions for publication. If you are a therapist, you are welcome to extend this invitation to your clients as well. Please send your submission to

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top