Honouring a Lost Loved One After COVID Lockdown


If your loved one died during the era of COVID-19, you’ve been through an especially challenging time and may not have had the opportunity for a memorial service. A Celebration of Remembrance, or a delayed memorial service, serves the same purpose as one planned immediately after your loss: to honour your loved one’s memory, surrounded by family and friends. Here are a few things to consider as you plan.

1. The day that wasn’t—but can be

Think about your loved one’s funeral wishes. If you hadn’t discussed or recorded it, think about his or her perfect day—the people, places and things that made his or her heart sing – use those as inspiration.

2. Your comfort level

It’s more important than ever that you feel safe and at ease. Let your comfort level guide your planning.

  • Are you comfortable having a service in the next couple of weeks or with waiting a little longer?
  • Size of gathering. Are you comfortable planning a large gathering or keeping it on the smaller side?
  • Inside or outside. Do you feel confident about an indoor gathering, or do you want to plan an outdoor event where shared space is less of a concern?

3. COVID precautions

At Dignity Memorial®, we will ensure you and your guests feel safe conducting services with us by following our rigorous health and safety procedures.

4. A date

Although most memorial services take place within days or weeks after a loved one’s death, you can choose any future date for a Celebration of Remembrance. Tying the service to a birthday, anniversary or holiday, can make it more special.

5. Your guests

You may wonder if people will come to a funeral held months after a death. Many, like you, will both need and want the opportunity to share their cherished memories in order to continue processing their grief.

6. The location.

A funeral home with a sizable chapel or reception space is a great choice. Alternatively, many funeral homes and cemeteries have outdoor spaces custom made for celebrations of life.

7. Updated obituary and invitations

Invitations, whether digital or formal paper, are critical for informing guests about your Celebration of Remembrance. Don’t forget to update the service details on your online obituary to notify those subscribed.

8. A video tribute

At a Celebration of Remembrance, where you’re loved one’s body may not be present, a well-produced video tribute is key. You have plenty of time to carefully select the photos, footage and music that best tell your loved one’s story.

9. The decor and more

Great events start with a theme. Think about your loved one’s favourite music, foods, colours, passions, and use those to drive your design.

10. Creating a lasting legacy

A Celebration of Remembrance marks the end of a life and the beginning of a beautiful new family tradition. Within the funeral, have a short ceremony that can be repeated every year on the same day. Consider a champagne toast, a special poem or prayer, or a candle lighting ceremony that can be repeated for generations to come.

In-person or remote planning

We’re proud to offer remote planning consultations to all community members. Contact us today to find out more about the special savings and benefits available to CARP members and their families. Visit CARP.DignityMemorial.com to download your free copy of The Insider’s Guide to Funeral & Cremation Planning, or call 866-668-1841 to get started.