Celebrating life and love in a Covid-19 world
Celebrant, Lynne Green, of Creating Memories talks about how her work has evolved since the pandemic hit.
A valuable part of my work is supporting bereaved families and delivering their ceremonies for lost loved ones.
Sadly so many lives have been lost during this pandemic. And it’s robbed so many families, including my own, of the ‘send-off’ our loved ones deserved, and that we wanted to give.
As families face the challenge of giving their loved ones a fitting funeral, I’ve had to think again about how best to support them and honour the lives of those who have passed.
If you know me, you know I am a person who likes to hug and hold hands! I know how much families need that physical support and to feel that people are there helping them through it. Covid put a stop to that. So I needed to find another way.
Re-thinking how we celebrate our loved one’s life
Covid-19 has stopped weddings and celebratory events in their tracks. Many have been scaled down, cancelled or postponed until next year, and even 2022!
Perhaps even worse, it’s changed how we conduct funerals.
Gone are the days of sitting with a bereaved family in their home, sharing a cuppa, consoling and handholding through their lovely stories and memories.
Gone are the hugs, handshakes and closeness we all need when we are grieving.
Gone are many of the funeral rites and rituals that commemorate our loved one’s journey. We cannot carry our loved one in to chapel, stand with their coffin at the words of farewell, sing hymns with all our family, travel together or even sit close or hold the hands of our grieving friends.
Sadly, being unable to spend times with those they love, who are in nursing homes or hospitals before they passed, has compounded the grief for many families.
Doing things differently
Above all I needed to keep people safe and informed. So I focussed on what we ‘can’ do and tried my best to remain positive, cheerful and hopeful.
Like many people, I turned to technology. I kept my Facebook page updated with the latest information, guidelines and ideas that are relevant to weddings and funerals.
With help from others, including my IT-savvy daughter, and Social Progress, who shared lots of free support and advice, Zoom, WhatsApp and Messenger video calls soon became the norm. Where this wasn’t possible, meetings with families became socially distanced.
I’ve certainly honed my time management skills, juggling the differing attendance allowances at crematoria, chapels and venues to make sure families can take full advantage. For those standing outside, I’ve created presentation copies of the ceremonies – all plastic-wrapped and anti-bacteria-wiped for safety.
I adapted my little keepsakes and mementoes from paper-based presentation packs to ones that can be distributed safely. I particularly love our new Dove Votive Candles that you can see on Facebook, where you’ll find all our memorial keepsakes that come as part of your Creating Memories Ceremony.
Many mourners are using our ‘hand on heart’ gesture of condolence as their virtual hug or handshake. It keeps everyone safely distanced while conveying condolences and love to the family.
A bright spot
One good thing that has come out of this year is that I’ve had the time to complete our garden project, and realise my dream of having my own meeting space and home office.
Now all I need is to be allowed an official opening! But with Covid hanging around…!
When we get the go-ahead, I’ll let you know through my blog.
Hand on heart
Covid-19 won’t defeat us, we are #inthistogether and you can rely on us to be there #creatingmemories with you, for your loved ones and writing your #lovestory #handonheart.