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  • Writer's pictureRachael Meyer

Funeral alternatives during the pandemic

With the global COVID-19 pandemic in full force, people needing to hold funerals are looking for alternative solutions. One of the most difficult things in life to experience is the loss of a loved one. Being unable to hold a final goodbye in the way you would want to is absolutely heartbreaking.

Since the country has been in lockdown, as a professional funeral celebrant and a professional video producer, I've been racking my brains to try and think of a different way for people to share comfort, support and memories when a loved one dies, in the absence of a traditional wake. Blending both skill sets, I'm pleased to launch a documentary style video memorial that I really hope will help friends and family grieve the loss of someone close to them in these socially distanced times.

Life Stories - Heartwarming Memories

Please click PLAY on this very short one-minute-long clip showing excerpts from a recent memorial video to see the kind of things that can be included in your own special documentary film:

This documentary style short film option is particularly of note as an alternative to a funeral, pre-need funeral or celebration of life memorial. It's like a virtual hug, especially when everyone watches it together at a designated time.

How does it work? As a celebrant and with years in the world of script, article and story-writing, I will call or video chat with the closest family and friends to gently and sympathetically draw out fond and factual memories. I can do this singly, or using a video conferencing platform, so that everyone is in the same virtual room. I will also ask close family to send me digital copies of photographs and video files (if any exist) the document their life as much as possible. Photographs in print can be scanned in, or you can use your phone to copy prints.

Friends and relatives can also send photos, video files, text or phone videos of their happy memories. I will use my professional skills to blend stories, memories and information about their life in a bespoke script that will be around 20-30 minutes long. With plenty of experience of delivering ceremonies, I will provide a professional voiceover in my home audio recording studio and will then arrange the photos and the video files to fit the script, aid memories and add colour and warmth.

The end result is a heartwarming documentary film of around 20-30 minutes that can be watched simultaneously or separately by friends and family via a password protected or public link (we can host the videos permanently on our professional online video sharing platform). Or you could set up a watch party by downloading the video file into your cloud based library (such as Google Drive or Dropbox) and view the video all together (albeit in different houses) online.

Although a documentary style video is never going to replace a physical hug, a truly lovely idea to accompany a group watching session would be for everyone to light a candle before they watch the video - a respectful, symbolic and wonderful way to pay respects, remember and celebrate the life of a loved one. And the great thing is that the film can be enjoyed time and time again, any time you, your family or friends like.

The video file can be delivered online only or in a presentation-boxed memory stick.

Please call for details: 07795 112009 / 01423 546440 / 

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