When a Loved One Dies During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an unprecedented impact on how we live and work, limiting our ability to interact with others and freely move about within our community. Tragically, it is also affecting our ability to pay tribute to loved ones who have died.

As our situation continues to change, we continue to adapt our practices and policies to keep everyone safe while at the same time ensuring we are meeting the needs of our grieving families.

As we continue to welcome the families we serve to gather and pay tribute to their loved ones, our most recent mandate as of July 16th from the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Renfrew County Health Unit and the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is as follows - 

Registrar’s Directive:
Capacity limits removed;
Physical distancing, mask-wearing requirements remain

Effective July 16, 2021

The BAO is issuing this Registrar’s Directive in alignment with the Government of Ontario’s Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen announcement today.
Indoor and outdoor funeral services, including visitations, will start operating under these requirements on Friday, July 16.
No additional measures have been added in this Registrar’s Directive.
Indoor funeral services

  • Indoor funeral services are permitted with physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between people.
  • No capacity limit, except for the physical distancing requirement. 
  • Masks or face coverings are required indoors.
  • Passive screening continues: There must be passive screening of guests, meaning have COVID signage at the entrance for guests to self-assess. (Here’s a link to the BAO’s screening sign, found on our COVID-19 web section.)
  • Guests must still be logged to enable contact tracing. Records must be kept for 30 days.
  • All attendees and staff must adhere to local public health unit restrictions.

Outdoor funerals / Services at cemeteries

  • No capacity limit, except for the physical distancing requirement.
  • Cemeteries can restrict access as they deem necessary, as usual. 
  • All attendees and staff must adhere to local public health unit restrictions.

Staffing ratios

  • There will no longer be a set staffing ratio.
  • Funeral establishments and cemeteries are responsible for ensuring physical distancing and the wearing of masks or face coverings indoors.

Food and beverages

  • Permissible food and beverage services are determined by your local public health unit.

For the benefit of family members and friends who may not be able to attend funeral services, we continue to offer live streaming at the request of all families we serve. It is our hope that by doing so, those absent can feel connected from the comfort and safety of their homes.

To assist in honouring your loved one, or to support someone who has experienced the death of a family member or friend during these difficult times, we invite you to review these articles below, which we are hopeful you will find beneficial.

Funerals In A Time Of Coronavirus: Thoughts For Families

Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is a challenging time for everyone. But if someone you love has died, it is likely that the current social distancing orders and travel restrictions are making funeral planning especially difficult for your family.

Read article>>https://www.rememberingalife.com/blog/funerals-in-the-time-of-coronavirusthoughts-for-families

Supporting Friends & Family When a Funeral Isn't Possible

As you can imagine, not having the opportunity to hold a traditional funeral or memorial service can be very difficult for family and friends who would benefit from gathering and receiving the support of others as they begin the grief journey. Fortunately, there are still ways you can support them.

Read article>> https://www.rememberingalife.com/covid-19/supporting-friends-and-family-when-a-funeral-isnt-possible

How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus Pandemic

The youngest among us are not immune to all of this stress. They sense it in the adults around them, and they see it on social media and other sources of information. Their own day-to-day routines have been completely disrupted.

Read article>> https://www.rememberingalife.com/blog/how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-coronavirus-pandemic

Coronavirus and the Six Needs of Mourning

Grief is everything we think and feel inside of us whenever our attachments are threatened, harmed, or severed. We experience shock and disbelief. We are anxious, which is a form of fear. We become sad and possibly lonely. We get angry. We feel guilty or regretful. The sum total of all these and any other thoughts and feelings we are experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is our grief.

Read article>> https://www.rememberingalife.com/blog/coronavirus-and-the-six-needs-of-mourning1

Nurturing Hope In Difficult Times

“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world.” — Pliny the Elder

The caller to the Center for Loss asked a question that is on the hearts of many right now: “Are we going to get through this?”

It became obvious as the conversation continued that she was experiencing feelings of grief and in search of borrowing some much-needed hope. As I hung up the phone after 20 minutes, I found myself yearning to write about hope, because, especially during difficult                                                                times like these, it is indeed the pillar that holds up the world.

                                                           Read article>> https://www.rememberingalife.com/blog/nurturing-hope-in-difficult-times

Loss In A Pandemic: Supporting Grievers

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, presents many unique challenges for those who are grieving. Whether their loved one died of complications of coronavirus or through any other means, bereaved persons are now making difficult decisions about funerary services in a time of social distancing, often after experiencing little or no time with their loved one in their final days as a result of new visitation limitations in place at health care and hospice facilities.

Read article>> https://www.rememberingalife.com/blog/loss-in-a-pandemic-supporting-grievers