Long-distance goodbyes: Pandemic brings greater challenges when grieving loss

The loss of a loved one is never easy, and it’s particularly difficult right now. In some cases, coronavirus has made saying a proper goodbye impossible.

Added to that, traditional funeral services also aren’t happening.

Angela Melvin, founder of Valerie’s House said they have seen an influx in the number of kids and families who are in deep grief right now over the loss of a loved one.

Warren works with families experiencing loss firsthand, and now, in the age of coronavirus, she explains, “Families are no longer getting the opportunity to say goodbye in a way that they would have either going into the hospital or being able to have those final moments, but even without that, not having the opportunity to have a memorial or funeral service like we normally would with people around us that love and care about us.”

At Coral Ridge Funeral Home in Cape Coral, they are no longer holding services with more than 10 people. Funeral director Chuck Warren and his staff have gotten creative.

“We do streaming live services. We’re recording services for families,” he says. “One of the things we’re in the process of doing for families is getting an antenna, an AM antenna so we may be able to broadcast services.”

But he admits, helping with the grieving process from a distance is challenging, “Were used to providing comfort and compassion, especially with me being from the south, I like to hug and hold hands and get caring feelings to families, to our client families so that’s proven difficult – a different challenge for our industry.”

Melvin agrees it’s not a replacement, “Nothing can take the place of being in person, being with people and hugging and loving on people. So, unfortunately we just don’t know when we’re going to be able to do that again.”

And until we can, both will continue their mission from a distance.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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