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Commemorating your loved one's life after a funeral

Options and ideas for celebrating the life of your loved one after the funeral when COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are relaxed

Commemorating your loved one's life after a funeral

Options and ideas for celebrating the life of your loved one after the funeral when COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are relaxed

Arranging a memorial during the Coronavirus pandemic

A smaller memorial service could, in light of the current circumstances, be held on the day of the funeral. It can also take place on a specific date in the future, such as your loved one’s birthday or the anniversary of their death, or at any other time following their funeral.

Prepare in advance for any memorial you plan to arrange. If you live with family or other people, especially others who may not have known the deceased, tell them what you are planning for that day and at what time, so they know when to pay their respects or to give you some quiet and space to do so yourself.


Some ideas for commemorating your loved one on the day

Connect with family and friends

Connecting with loved ones to share memories may provide a little solace at a difficult time

Read more

Set up a social media memorial

The easiest way to hold a memorial whilst observing current restrictions is via social media.

Read more

Create a photo memorial

You could display photos of your loved one at home or create a photo memorial tribute.

Read more

Make a video eulogy

A eulogy is a speech at a funeral commemorating the life of your loved one.

Read more

What to do with ashes after cremation

After the cremation of a loved one, it can be difficult to decide what to do with their ashes. It’s not uncommon for people to keep the ashes at home or in a special place, so the person who has passed away can still be part of their lives.

Scattering ashes

The scattering of ashes is also a popular way for the person to be returned to the earth, or to be given an extra-special send-off in a place that meant something to them. We have a list of places you can scatter ashes to help you decide where is most appropriate.  Alternatively, we can scatter your loved one’s ashes in our gardens of remembrance. We can advise where the ashes have been scattered for you to visit at a later date when the government's restrictions on non-essential travel have been lifted.

More unique things to do with ashes

Although scattering is the most popular option in the UK, we've also created a guide of unique things to do with ashes. 

Interment of ashes

If your loved one wanted to be buried but this was not an option available to you at the time, the interment of their ashes may be a suitable alternative.


Holding a memorial service, at a later date

A memorial service or ‘celebration of life’ can be held at some time after, or instead of a funeral service. There are no rules on when a memorial must be held so this can happen at any time in the future, for example when the Government’s social distancing guidelines have been lifted.

Holding a memorial service is the perfect way for a larger group of people to say goodbye, particularly if there were no mourners present or the number of attendees at the funeral were limited due to COVID-19. Many people also choose to hold a memorial service with their loved one’s ashes present, prior to their scattering or interment. 

Learn more about arranging a memorial service.

If you plan to hold a memorial service in honour of your loved one, we advise you do not do this until the Government's guidance on social distancing has been lifted.


Coping with grief and loss

Grief is the normal response after the death of someone that’s important to you. Everyone grieves in their own way; there is no right or wrong way to grieve as long as you are not harming yourself or those around you. Grief often brings about both physical and emotional pain. Shock, anger, sadness, guilt, regret, numbness and loneliness, even relief, are just some emotions that you may feel as well as changes to your appetite, fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

Grief is not an illness and so is not something for which there is a cure. The overwhelming majority of people will continue to treasure memories of the person who has died but eventually are able to find a way to look forward and enjoy life again, though this often takes much longer than we expect. Some people find it immensely helpful to talk with someone outside their usual circle of family and friends and online bereavement support provided by the National Bereavement Service is here to help you.


Other helpful organisations for grief

Cruse Bereavement Care (England & Wales)

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland


The Compassionate Friends


Call: 0800 484 0260

Call: 0800 484 0260

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