DEAR HARRIETTE: My grandma died this week, and it is so sad. We weren’t able to visit her in her nursing home or in the hospital because of the rules about COVID-19. Now it’s time for us to put her to rest. I can’t decide what to do. I could host a tiny funeral with 10 guests or fewer. Or I could wait indefinitely to host a bigger event after the gathering restrictions are relaxed. Or the funeral home suggested a virtual event. I don’t know what to do. What do you recommend? -- End of Life
DEAR END OF LIFE: I am so very sorry for your loss. It is always hard to lose a loved one. It is exponentially worse right now for the reasons you are experiencing. Not being able to comfort loved ones during their time of transition can be excruciating for all parties. Not being able to say goodbye in a communal mourning experience can feel incomplete. And yet, that is what we are charged with managing these days.
What I’m learning is that every family has to figure out what works best for you and your family dynamics. A fair compromise for many people is a combination event, where a small group of 10 or fewer can be in the space of the event. That way you can see one another’s faces and be with each other while practicing social distancing. At the same time, live-streaming the event is kind for all of the loved ones who are unable to attend. If you can get the funeral home to handle the stream, it is great because they are professionals and are not emotionally invested in the event. They should be able to capture everything. Consider saving the broadcast so that you can watch it again.