Resources for mourning remotely during COVID?
December 14, 2020 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Father-in-law passed away, we can't travel to be with the family. What are some good resources for mourning when you can't physically be there?

My wife's father passed away of COVID after more than 6 weeks of hospitalization. Her mom and family live about 1000 miles away from us and traveling to see them unfortunately isn't possible at this time.

Surprisingly, I'm having a hard time finding resources online for figuring out remote mourning during COVID and coming up with meaningful ways to honor their memory/mourn from a distance. Is there anything out there?
posted by allthethings to Human Relations (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
There's a FB Page I follow, that has been something I've related to a lot with my (different kind of) grief, called Zen Caregiving Project. It often has resources about grief and coping, and especially with complicated kinds of grief (which mine was, again for different reasons). A browse through it might bring up many resources, but here are a couple of links that popped out to me as potentially worth beginning to read for a sense of solidarity, maybe some support and resource suggestions, etc.
posted by MustangMamaVE at 11:16 AM on December 14, 2020

We had a family death right at the beginning of quarantine (though it was not Covid-related). We had no possibility of traveling to attend the funeral. I have to say that I thought the funeral livestream was going to be a total waste of time, but I was suprised to find it very, very moving. Participating in that, even from my living room, was helpful in the way good funerals are -- processing feelings, celebrating the deceased, and even having a sense of fellowship with other family, despite that we were all in different places.

I'm sorry for you loss.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

Same as BlahLaLa, I found a virtual service and memorial to be very moving, and a really really good way to come together as a family. It wasn't perfect, it didn't replace a physical need to gather, but it was still a celebration of my family member and it was still a way to process grief. We set a formal structure and that helped even if it felt weirdly formal, it did actually help to know that you have 2mins to speak, this is the speaking order, and then there's free form memory sharing and conversation at the end. Folks could drop in and out as they could manage, and it was genuinely nice.

My condolences to your family.
posted by larthegreat at 12:25 PM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

This person, Pia Interlandi, has a video describing a number of things you can do at a distance to mourn. I like her ideas because they're very tactile and simple at a time when touching and being close is not possible.

But what is often most helpful about mourning is focusing on personal and specific things, based on your relationship with the deceased, and based on who they were when alive. Are there rituals they had, that you could go through to honor them? Or things you enjoyed together that you could reference in some way? One small thing is to create a small shrine/altar with photos and meaningful elements. You can pause at it, at a set time each day or whenever you enter the room, as a remembrance of your father in law.

If you are considering an online memorial of sorts, those can be done very meaningfully and simply (though there is a fair amount of work behind the scenes technically). Some suggestions from this previous question might help, too.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:31 PM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

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