There is no good time to organise a funeral but during a pandemic where strict regulations are in place and you are shielding is certainly one of the most stressful without a doubt.
It may seem like the best option is to delay the funeral. And that may be the case for you – everyone is different, so we wanted to provide you with some more information. We are a charity-run funeral director, so our priority is to support and empower you to make the right choice for you.
The situation at the moment
The Scottish Government has confirmed that only 20 people will be able to attend a funeral wherever it is taking place.
The limit of 20 people is still subject to strict rules on physical distancing – so if the venue that you are having a ceremony or service in can’t accommodate 20 people when physical distancing rules are in place, the number of guests will have to be smaller.
When will things change?
The Scottish Government has reviewed some regulations but there are still rules in place as mentioned above.
Funerals that are safe right now
Some crematoriums are offering services with limited numbers and live streaming of services so those who can’t attend in person can still attend the service virtually.
We have been exclusively offering direct cremation for some time now. Direct cremation is a cremation with no mourner’s present. It has been the choice for people looking for a modern alternative as it allows families more time to arrange a memorial or celebration that is much more personal to the deceased.
Since lockdown began, we have experienced more calls from people interested in using our services. One example is Linda Hillidge. Linda, who lives in South Africa, recently lost her mother, who lived in Scotland. As the airports in South Africa were closed, Linda was unable to fly to Scotland. However, after some deliberation, she decided direct cremation was the right things to do as she explains:
“when I first heard of the concept of direct cremation, I was not a believer and felt I could not go down this route. However, after much more thought on the logistics of how one can make this happen remotely, it became the only and best option for us.
As a family we decided to have our own intimate Celebration of Life for Mom who was so loved throughout her life.
We utilised a very simple format using Zoom to include the family members. My daughter and I had prepared some words to reflect on Mom’s life and all the wonderful memories we had and will forever cherish. We had intermittent music, some songs which Mom sang over the years as she loved singing, she was always nominated at the family get togethers.
To have final closure we will fly to Scotland when the lockdown is over.”
Advice and support
Due to the increased anxiety experienced by the bereaved during these unprecedented times, we have set up a free emotional support helpline to anyone who has lost a loved one recently. It is open to anyone – even if you don’t choose us for your funeral, so please do get in touch if you would like to speak to an experienced counsellor – 03000 113 311
If you have questions about direct cremation, then contact us. Our highly experienced team are caring and compassionate and as we are a not for profit funeral directors, they won’t give you the hard sell. We can also advise you on the financial support available and help you with your application if you are eligible.