Grieving During the Pandemic

Because of the gathering restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic we understand that mourning the death of a loved one is especially difficult at this time. We hope these ideas help you feel connected and supported by your community as you grieve during this time of social distancing.

One of the wonderful things that happens at funerals and receptions is the chance to meet other people who loved your loved one- people you might not even know- and hear their stories. Thanks to technology sharing stories in groups is something that can still happen.

If you are not comfortable with technology, or do not have internet service, we can encourage people in the obituary to be in touch in old-fashioned ways- such as letters. Anything mailed to us at the funeral home we can pass on to you.

Mention an activity or wish in the obituary to be done together at a designated time. People can send photos and notes about their experience afterwards. Some examples from our families:

  • A favorite song, poem, movie, TV show to be listened to/read/watched
  • Lighting a candle
  • A dedicated moment of silence
  • A time to say a prayer or meditation
  • A color that can be worn on a set day or used to decorate a space indoors or out
  • A routine such a morning cup of coffee, watching the sunset, taking a walk
  • A favorite meal that people can make and eat on a set day

Or ask your community to do something over a longer period of time such as:

  • Hang/place something in a street facing window- perhaps a sign with a favorite memory, saying or poem; a specific color, or even just your loved one's name so that when you walk around your community you can see who is supporting and thinking of you.

  • Place a basket on your steps and ask for people to leave memories, cards, photos, flowers, or condolences

Things to organize in the community:

  • A drive-by wake: People can meet at a certain time at a designated spot and then drive past the home. Encourage people to make signs and/ or bring battery-powered/electric candles for the family to see. (If this would not be easy to do at the house we are happy to arrange for this at our funeral home)
  • A Facebook page for people to share stories, pictures of themselves participating in the activity, and stay in touch 

Things you can do to signal that you have lost someone:

  • Place a candle in your window with your loved one's name and objects that are symbolic to their life
  • Hang a black wreath with your loved one's name on your door

Signalling to your neighborhood that you are mourning is one way for them to know you might be in need of extra support or even just good wishes. If you'd like you can even organize a way for them to respond, such as asking for cards.



Guare & Sons, Barber & Lanier Funeral Home
Phone: (802) 223-2751
30 School Street, Montpelier, VT

© Guare & Sons, Barber & Lanier Funeral Home
Crafted with care by Frazer Consultants and TA