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Guide To Grieving At A Distance

During the pandemic, many people have be forced to grieve the loss of loved once over a distance. Not being able to attend a memorial service can have a significant negative effect on grief. An important part of the grieving process is seeing the deceased and to see them laid in their resting place. When we are prevented from attending, we can feel guilty and be resentful about missing the event.

However, this scenario is not unique to the Covid-19 pandemic. Time, distance and financial restrictions have always been factors in attending a funeral service. Under these circumstances, we can give you some advice to help with grieving over distance.

Accept the Bereavement

Although hearing of a death might seem like acceptance, it is not. Acceptance is the realisation of not seeing that person again. Often, we forget a person is gone and might have a thought of phoning them before remembering they are no longer there. This is more common than you may think. It is times like this where the loss hits us hardest. Many people experience the peak of their grief months after the actual loss as a result of eventual realisation of the loss.  

In order to ensure you are accepting the loss, it helps to talk with those experiencing the loss whether that's talking with the family, friends or relatives. At a distance, simply make phone calls or online video chat. In doing so, this helps you acknowledge the loss and begin the realisation of loss. 

Flowers at a grave

Take part in the service (even if only virtually)

Phone calls with those sharing the loss is helpful but if the option exists, it is beneficial to attend the funeral service virtually. It may not feel like you made as much of an effort to attend as others, but being there, hearing those speaking and seeing the service will keep the memory in your mind and the feeling of attendance fulfilled. 

Give up your guilt

Yes, easier said than done. Ask yourself this question, why do you feel guilty? The death was not your fault and circumstances outside of your control have prevented you from attending. You do what you can to pay your respects such as attending online or contacting family/friends to pass your condolences or to share their loss. You may have sent flowers. These are your contributions to the memory of the deceased and you may not want to hear it but that is enough. Honoring the deceased in your own way in your life is how you honour their memory. 

Remember the good times

Spend some time to think about the good times you had with the deceased at various times. Yes, that can make you feel sad but remembering the good times makes you appreciate the time you spent with them and the fun times you shared. Everyone wants to be remembered during the good times. 

Time Is Not A Factor For Visiting The Deceased

Something you should always remember is after the deceased is laid to rest, you always have a place to visit them. You can go anytime and pay your respects. Whether that is a grave, columbarium or location where ashes were scattered, they are there for you to visit and time is never a factor. 

There is no quick fix to loss, it is a lengthy process and can be one of the most difficult times in your life. However, these techniques can help you get through the process of grieving at a distance with some ease. As a family owned funeral home, Zentner Funeral Homes Ltd. provide resources for dealing with grief and we try to make funeral arrangements and aftercare as stress free as possible. Contact us if you need any further help with grieving at a distance. 

Location of scattered ashes
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