Can We Plan a Memorial for a Loved One Who Died Last Year?

June 30, 2021

For many around the world, the coronavirus outbreak dramatically impacted every part of our lives. For those working in specific fields, this meant focusing on safety and protection over offering particular services to the public. For Greenlawn, these changes altered the way families and friends could say goodbye to those who passed during that time.

Visitations were halted and along with the ability to offer support through handshakes and hugs. Public funerals were limited indirectly, stopping the chance to cry, laugh, linger, and reminisce—no more receptions filled with family and friends sharing memories over a meal.

Instead, social distancing and ever-changing state mandates were limiting the number of people permitted at a gathering. Obituaries were ending with the words, “A celebration of life will be held at a later date.” Some families weren’t sure when, how, or even if they would pay tribute to their loved one who meant so much.

At Greenlawn Funeral Home, we saw the need to adapt to these restrictions, and while it was not ideal, we began to rely more on live-streaming services. Families, friends, and others were able to watch the funeral happening live, all from the comfort and safety of their homes. They could also watch a recording of the service at their convenience.

Fast forward to today as most restrictions have been lifted, and families are now wondering if they can still get together to have a funeral or memorial for their loved one who died months ago. The answer is a definite YES – and it’s an answer we feel strongly about. We know how important it is to hold a ritual where family and friends can gather to process their loss. It’s an essential step towards acknowledging and beginning the healing process of grief for several reasons:

Funerals are a way to honor a loved one’s memory.

Reflecting on a loved one’s interests, accomplishments, and hobbies is a healing experience for family and friends. Going through those old photos for a video tribute, collecting precious items for the memory table, and selecting that perfect piece of music helps you focus on what your loved one meant to you and the world around them. A highly personalized service brings its form of closure as you remember what made your loved one unique and special.

Funerals are an opportunity for support from those around you.

Visitations, funerals, burials, and receptions bring people together. These serve as a measure of love and support for the family, and often, seeing that others care can help with the adjustment after a loss.

Funerals help friends and family accept their loss.

Facing the reality of death and mourning in a safe and supportive environment is critical. Death is complex, and the emotions involved can be tough to navigate. A funeral is a specific time to acknowledge the reality and finality of death and begin facing the pain that comes with it. 

Funerals bring closure.

Funerals bring a sense of closure, as they allow loved ones to cry, reflect, and concentrate on feelings about death. The service is also a way to publicly express how much a person meant and how deeply they will be missed.

If your loved one died sometime in 2020 or 2021, remember that a funeral can be as unique as your loved one.  After such a challenging year, we want to be sure you receive the encouragement and help you need. We’ve been there for families in the Springfield area for over a century now and have many options available so you can say goodbye in a way that is meaningful to you.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help anytime.