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What you need to know about arranging a funeral during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:54 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 15 April 2020

Although funerals have been affected by coronavirus, saying goodbye to your loved one is still of the utmost importance. Image: Rosedale Funeral Home

Although funerals have been affected by coronavirus, saying goodbye to your loved one is still of the utmost importance. Image: Rosedale Funeral Home

Sylvaine Poitau

It’s a challenging time for all, and there’s understandably a lot of concern around funerals during coronavirus and how the lockdown affects this.

Ideally only immediate family members should be attending funerals, but the service can be postponed for a later date once the restrictions have been lifted so that the whole family can attend. Image: Rosedale Funeral HomeIdeally only immediate family members should be attending funerals, but the service can be postponed for a later date once the restrictions have been lifted so that the whole family can attend. Image: Rosedale Funeral Home

To put your mind at ease and dispel any false information, Anne Beckett-Allen, Director of Rosedale Funeral Home, shares her expertise on how to plan a funeral at this time and how to ensure your loved one gets the send-off they deserve.

Q: As coronavirus is affecting how funerals are being conducted, has there been a change to costs?

Yes, there has. We have withdrawn some of our services to ensure we can adhere to social distancing etiquette, and this has been reflected in a reduction in costs.

New legislation means that we currently only pay one doctor to complete the cremation paperwork instead of two, so doctors’ fees have halved.

As the numbers attending are much smaller, the cost of service sheets, what families spend on flowers and the wake afterwards are reduced.

Rosedale Funeral Home are a family business and are here to help at this difficult time. Image: Rosedale Funeral HomeRosedale Funeral Home are a family business and are here to help at this difficult time. Image: Rosedale Funeral Home

Q: How many people can attend a funeral now?

Although the government haven’t yet enforced this, ideally anyone attending a funeral at this time should be immediate family members, and not someone considered high-risk or who needs to be in self-isolation

Immediate family members have been identified as spouses/partners, parents/carers, brothers/sisters, and children and their partners.

There is some flexibility depending on the unique circumstances of each funeral arranged.

It’s best to speak to a funeral director who can advise based on your situation and preferences.

Q: What happens if the family are self-isolating and can’t attend a funeral, or they’re finding it distressing to decide who should and shouldn’t attend?

If there is a limit on how many people can attend, it’s heart-breaking to have to decide on the attendees.

Overall, we have found that people are drawing close and supporting each other as best they can.

Many families wish to plan a memorial service that will take place another time. This can be a positive thing as they can work together as a family to make the arrangements.

It’s best to speak to a funeral director to understand the options available.

Q: What other rules are there for funerals during coronavirus?

One rule is that attendees must stay two metres apart and refrain from any physical contact from anyone who is not from the same household.

Some crematoria have set rules such as not allowing people to carry the coffin, and the curtains having to close at the end of the service to stop people from touching it.

We will do our best to support families in saying goodbye to their loved ones and are focusing on being as kind and professional as possible at this difficult time.

Q: Any advice for dealing with grief following the loss of a loved one whilst in lockdown?

Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult at the best of times but through this period of isolation the impact of someone’s death may be harder to process.

We’ve set up an online service to offer support to those that need it most.

GriefChat is completely free and enables access to a specially trained bereavement counsellor who can listen, explore how grief is affecting you and help you find any additional support.

Rosedale’s lead Bereavement Support Facilitators will also be offering a service by phone on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9-11am. In Norfolk, you can call Beverley on 07901 888122 or Sarah on 01953 888909, or in Suffolk, you can call Lucy on 07753 299925.

Grief is different for everyone and sometimes people may want a listening ear from someone outside the family. We are a family business and are here to help.

To learn more about Rosedale Funeral Homes and how they can help you say goodbye to your loved one at this time visit www.rosedalefuneralhome.co.uk, or call them on 01953 452538 or email attleborough@rosedalefuneralhome.co.uk. Visit them at Yard House, High Street, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 2EH.


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