Ways to Honour a Loved One’s Life if You Can’t Attend Their Funeral

There are many reasons why people are not able to attend a loved one’s funeral and the current pandemic has made this situation more prevalent. Though it can’t be helped, not being able to say goodbye can be extremely upsetting and difficult for families. 

Here, we offer some ideas on how to honour a loved one’s life without the need for a traditional gathering. The suggestions offer a starting point for inspiration, so please feel free to share them with others. 

Carrying a coffin

Take some time to mourn

At the time of the funeral, clear some space in your home – or wherever you like. You might like to find and arrange some of your favourite photos of your loved one and maybe light a candle or two.

When the funeral begins, you can simply sit and have a moment of silence, play some thoughtful music, or talk to those around you about cherished memories. 

Plant a tree in their memory

Planting something is an excellent way of honouring a person’s life; it is a living memorial which offers a poignant way of remembering a loved one. You could plant a tree or a bush in their memory or if you have a smaller garden you can plant a selection of flowers. 

If you don’t have the space to plant something, but you like the idea, you can donate to the Woodland Trust to dedicate a tree to someone’s memory, then you can visit the tree on anniversaries, special dates or anytime you like.

Listen to music that reminds you of them

Music often evokes emotions, especially if it is linked to times you spent with your loved one. Listening to music that is related to these memories can be an extremely joyful and positive experience.

Express yourself through creativity

If you were going to speak at your loved one’s funeral, what would you have said? Many people find it helpful, and comforting, to write their feelings and/or memories down in order to process them. This may be a highly personal gesture, but you may also wish to share it with the friends and family of the loved one. 

People also often turn to creative expression during a tough time. You can paint, draw, write poems, compose music — whatever you find enjoyable.This is particularly good if you have young children who are grieving too, as it will keep them engaged. 

Coping with loss and grief can be extremely difficult, but we hope you have found our support and ideas useful. If you have any questions about our funeral plans or the services we offer, then please feel free to contact us or call our advisors on 0800 411 8683.