We are often most comforted when family and friends are near during the loss of a loved one, but that isn’t always possible - especially during COVID-19. This guidance is for individuals and families who are looking to connect, care and safely grieve together while practicing social distancing.

At the height of the U.S. Covid-19 Pandemic, my uncle passed away. Though he didn’t die of Covid-19, our family still had to navigate the difficulties, rules and uncertainty of this time. My family is very close, so we needed to find new ways to connect and care for one another during this time.

Here are 3 Comforting Ways to Grieve Remotely:

Video chat

If you’ve never experienced a video chat, ask a friend or family to help you or check out these helpful guides on using Skype or Facetime. It’s nice to speak with someone on the phone, but being able to see a loved one’s face - with their reactions and emotions - it’s truly heartwarming. My kids love playing Show and Tell with their grandparents and cousins. 

Social Media

It might seem impersonal, but social media is very helpful during times like this. After my uncle passed, my cousin posted privately on Facebook asking people to comment on the post with photos and memories of their dad. Dozens of photos and over a hundred comments later, we had a beautiful crowd sourced memorial to my uncle that showed how his spirit shined to so many different people. It truly helped us grieve, smile and connect in a way we didn’t expect.

Snail Mail

Yes, snail mail. For you youngsters, this is referring to letters carried by the post office. There’s something so special about receiving a letter in the mail - knowing that the other person had that same piece of paper in front of them while they lovingly wrote a special note. During this pandemic my kids have been coloring a lot. We’ve made a new habit of mailing them to friends and family, knowing that someone’s day is getting a little better after opening it. Plus, getting something in the mail that isn’t a bill is always a bonus!

My uncle was an amazing man who endured so much throughout his life. He was a wonderful dad, husband, uncle, brother, son and most recently a grandfather. Although we’re still waiting to celebrate his life and come together physically as a family, we’re able to find comfort and connection with these suggestions.

All of these can help to grieve a recent loss, but they can also be used to stay connected in a more personal, meaningful way throughout life. 

For more helpful information, read more below:

For additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, read Funeral Guidance for Individuals and Families.