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  • Writer's pictureDaragh Doyle

Bereavement in a Pandemic - and finding closure afterwards

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

The loss of a loved one be it a family member or friend, is one of the most difficult things any of us will experience in our lives.

The opportunity to grieve and say goodbye properly is extremely important.

That opportunity has been to a large extent taken away by the Covid 19 pandemic.

I’m from rural Ireland where the home wake is a very important part of the bereavement process.

At the time of the passing of my father and my brother I found the home wake an important part of the grieving process and the the start of the healing process.

Whether a funeral, end of life ceremony or celebration of life service, each represents a very important part of both the grieving and the healing process.

The Covid pandemic has taken a lot of the opportunity to grieve properly away from us, it has taken the opportunity for a proper goodbye and some form of closure away.

When we grieve, we grieve together, we grieve with our family, friends and community.

That support is really important, and yet at times recently, it has been taken away, the opportunity to hug each other, to shake hands has been taken away.

Covid took that away, for significant periods, where only 10 people were allowed to attend the service, with family’s having to choose who would attend. A choice none of us should ever have had to make.

I recently delivered an end of life celebration for a family in North Dublin.

Their loved one passed away in December 2020.

They had a simple cremation at the time, without many friends and family being able to attend, due to Covid restrictions.

They subsequently decided to have a celebration of life service in a hotel last week and intern the ashes in a family grave.

They created the most beautiful ceremony in memory of their father and brother to include a slideshow of his life, music that he loved, poetry, and most moving, a eulogy delivered by his children and brother.

It was a privilege as a celebrant to plan and facilitate the ceremony and especially, to be part of it, with the whole family.

As we commence the process of exiting Covid restrictions, families are now turning to the process of organising a proper goodbye, together with the whole set of family and friends present, for their loved ones, who passed during the pandemic.

While one can never reach total closure at the loss of a loved one, it is very important to have the closure of saying a proper goodbye, and to do so surrounded by your family and friends.

A lot of families who suffered loss during Covid are now considering how best to properly celebrate the life of their loved one.

The opportunities to do so are endless.

As a life celebrant for people of all faiths and none, I support and work with families on creating a ceremony that best represents the life of their loved one.

This can take many forms including;

- a service at a non-dominations church,

- a service at hotel,

- an outdoor service at a place of beauty that was important to the deceased, to include the scattering of ashes.

Whilst the possibilities are endless, importantly, I make sure the service itself will be unique and personalised to the deceased and the family.

Your input, memories, stories and emotions regarding your loved one, will be crucial to building the perfect service and we will do that carefully and respectfully, together. I’ll be there every step of the way for you.


Please contact me on if you'd like to have an informal chat, to discuss your thoughts. Calmly and with no pressure whatsoever to proceed.

You're also very welcome to visit my website and also look at my Testimonials, I'm confident you'll be impressed.

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