9 Ways Your Funeral Home Can Support Grieving Families During A Time of Isolation

Wow, what an interesting time it is to be grieving a loved one…Right!?

No matter where you are in the world, or what you’re experiencing, you are affected by the Coronavirus. That is not a question.

And with all of the usual grief support systems we have being blown into the disruptive winds of COVID-19, comes an opportunity to change the way we assist our families through their grief journey forever.

As we start to dive into new, mostly online alternatives, we encourage you to look at the ways these tips help us improve the way we help families grieve, now and in the future. 

Check out our 9 ideas below:

 

1. Host virtual grief gatherings for those grieving

Whether it’s a virtual grief support group, a virtual version of a grief dinner like the The Dinner Party, or a sharing of grief rituals via Zoom, you’ve got so many options… so get creative! Offering a space for the grieving to be there for each other, and share what they’re going through, is one of the most validating aspects of the grief journey. Knowing you’re not alone in the mess that is your grief is one of the greatest supports during the journey. 

 

2. Go “live” on Facebook and Instagram for a community honoring ritual

If you’ve never gone live on your social channels before, start by familiarizing yourself with the concept. Essentially, you’re recording yourself real-time, and allowing for others to participate in your conversation through comments and likes. You even have the option to save the video so people can leave comments and share it after you’re done recording. 

One idea is to host a community honoring ritual, where you ask your community to participate by giving the names of their loved one’s lost, and maybe a few words about them. You can light a candle for each person, and share about them. Or, you can encourage your families to go live and invite their community to help them honor their loved one. There are so many ideas, just use Facebook and type in “Grief” or “Losing someone” and you’ll find some awesome examples.

 

3. Share grief tips on your social channels

You’re the expert in grief, and you’re in a unique position right now to allow your thought leadership on the topic to shine onto your community. With everyone relying on the internet now to connect with those around them, why not use this opportunity to connect with your community in ways you wouldn’t normally be able to? 

We recommend using video as much as possible to build rapport with your following and put a face to  your funeral home’s name. You can record your video on your phone, and try keeping it under 10 minutes (ideally even 5) and choosing one topic to cover that’s simple and relatable.

If you’re feeling stuck on how to begin doing video and social posts, here’s an example of how simple your video can be, via Healthy Marriage Tips:

 

4. Partner with a local meditation or yoga teacher to offer grief-informed mindfulness practices

With meditation and yoga on the rise (especially during these times), so is the need for grief meditations, grief yoga and mindfulness exercises around grief. Hitch up with a local yoga teacher or meditation teacher and see what you can create together using your combined knowledge. A live meditation with an introduction from you could work, or even a Zoom Webinar on grief and mindfulness co-created by you. Who knows, this could lead to a dedicated Youtube Channel for all of your grief resources!

Need some inspiration? Check out this video from Yoga with Adriene below: 

5. Create a grief pen pal program

Remember the good ole’ days, how heart warming it felt to receive snail mail from someone that wasn’t a bill or credit card application? What if you tapped into this heart warming opportunity by offering a pen pal network for those grieving in your community? With social distancing well into effect, having a pen pal gives those grieving something to look forward to in their week… receiving a letter from someone who understands them! 

An upside to keeping the network amongst your local community is that once the Coronavirus havoc has subsided, grief pen pals can meet up in person, and potentially even bud a lifelong friendship from this experience. Check out InvitingAbundance.Net for an example of a successful grief pen pal network. 

 

6. Offer grief care packages as a service

Who doesn’t love receiving a care package in the mail, especially during a time of heightened stress and isolation? While sitting down and putting together a personalized care package for every single client family you have might be something you’d love to do, that’s just not very viable. You’re busy! Call on support from your Sympathy Store and/or local businesses to put together a care package that would best support those on their journey of grief now. You can offer it as a service for your community to purchase right from your website, or use a service where those grieving can choose their own self care package like this one.

Below is an example of a service who offers care packages just for the grieving: 

 

7. Lean on the healing power of your social memorial website

Usually the best part about a funeral service is the memories shared. But without a common space to come together and share these memories, how can we re-create this priceless experience? Through social memorial websites. Social memorial websites are essentially an online, living tribute to the loved one, complete with a “Facebookesque” social wall where the community can light a candle for the loved one, post videos, photos, share memories, and even purchase flowers and gifts for the family. 

With more time on people’s, they’ll be able to offer incredibly thoughtful and detailed shares on your families’ social memorial website, offering a deep level of support during this vulnerable time. To get the conversation going, you can encourage close family members to post their favorite memories and photos, or even questions!

Pro tip: Social memorial websites are a free integration with the f1Connect all-in-one website platform. Learn more about social memorial websites here or check out an example of them below:

 

9. Add an e-aftercare program to your website

Do you ever wish you just had a magical fairy grief counselor who could stop by all your client families homes and offer them the support they need, right from their home? With an e-aftercare platform, you’re essentially offering just that, without having to lift a finger. The best e-aftercare platforms plug right into your website and offer a wide spectrum of grief support such as:

  • Interactive virtual grief counseling sessions with a certified grief therapist
  • Interactive educational grief support videos
  • A platform for group grief support sessions
  • Grief affirmations for 365 days

 

The best part about eAftercare services is that they’re available to your families whenever they need them. 

Pro tip: To start offering comprehensive grief aftercare: check out our all-in-one E-Aftercare service.

To learn more about funeralOne’s e-aftercare services, click the image above.

 

Putting it all together

Now that you have all of these ideas and inspiration, how do you put them together? We suggest making a resource page on your website or blog that offers all of these services and ideas for families. 

 

Need more COVID-19 support?

Want some more ideas on how to serve your families best during the coronavirus? Contact one of our Funeral Success Specialists today by clicking here or calling (800)-798-2575.

 

What other ways are you supporting your families’ grief journey during COVID-19? Tell us in the comments below!

Rochelle Rietow

funeralOne

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