At Alert Level 2, funeral gatherings can now be attended by more people, up to 50, for no more than 2 hours and contact tracing is required.
Family living overseas are still very unlikely to be able to attend. So, how do you acknowledge the death within the wider community?
We have worked in collaboration with a Wellington based techspert to create a digital departure. Using Zoom technology we can facilitate an online funeral, incorporating many of the elements you’d expect at a physical funeral; eulogies, tributes, photos, videos, a tribute page and break-out rooms to catch-up and share your memories, when it matters most, from anywhere in the world.
Rites of Passage
After a person has died there are a series of transitions, all of which are an important part of the funeral process.
If family are present at the time of death in the home, they can perhaps wash and dress the deceased – a natural extension of the personal care they had given them in life. (This will be dependent on cause of death and current health and safety guidelines). It’s a valuable time to slow down, talk and reminisce. Often, these are the last moments spent with the person who has died.
If death has occurred in the hospice, rest home or hospital, clearly communicate your wishes to the staff, who will endeavour to co-operate should their current protocols allow.
The next transition point is the funeral service. Currently, in the case of cremation, up to 50 family members and friends are able to attend but must observe the 2 meter social distancing between ‘bubbles’ and sign an attendance register for contact tracing. We also need to apply for special dispensation from the Ministry of Health on your behalf. In the interim, family could have a digital funeral, using Zoom or have a physical memorial gathering when restrictions ease.
After cremation, there are the ashes, another transition. The decision may be to scatter or inter at a public cemetery, another future opportunity to gather.
If the person is being buried, up to 50 family members and friends are able to be present and again must observe the 2 meter social distancing rules between ‘bubbles’ and sign an attendance register for contact tracing. The grave site can be readily revisited at any time once restrictions are lifted. The unveiling of the headstone or planting of the tree for a Natural Burial, could be a time to regather.
Value every interaction, no matter how minimal.
We take photos at weddings and birthdays but seem uncomfortable to do so at funerals. Attitudes are changing, as now almost everyone has a phone with a camera. Take any opportunity to capture the events, on film or audio, to share with those unable to attend. The gathering at the death bed, the burial or scattering of ashes.
There are many digital tribute websites where friends, colleagues and distant family can upload their stories, pictures and memories.
A funeral does not necessarily need to be a large, well attended event – often, those intimate, private gatherings can be just as significant.
Talk to us and we can work together to create new rituals for a thoughtful farewell.