4 Ways You Can Help Families Grieve During COVID-19 [Plus 2 Free Downloads]

Posted May 6, 2020

4 min read

Funeral directors are deeply compassionate, and always seek to walk alongside families no matter where the family is at in their grief.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has brought entirely new challenges for helping families cope and deal with the loss of a loved one.

The reality: many families are already feeling shocked, overwhelmed and unprepared even before they contact you. Add in the range of emotions from grief, and your families may be feeling an entirely unfamiliar range of emotions. Here are four ways you can help your families during such a vulnerable time:

1. Listen well to every family

Your communication with families right now is likely limited to the phone. With little eye-contact and no body language, your best approach is to just listen to them. In fact, being an effective listener is one of the best ways to connect with someone, regardless whether you are communicating by phone or in-person.

Listening well requires a great deal of discipline and intention. Your goal is to stay fully present and engaged. When done right, you will know the family felt that you connected and listened intently to them.

If it helps you to be a better listener, take notes while someone talks with you. If you already have this good habit, start entering your notes directly into CRäKN, where every detail will be available when you need it. Another tip: avoid the urge to interrupt. Even if you don’t mean to cut someone else off while they are talking, interrupting can act as a disconnect between you and a family member.

2. Continue to communicate with them about their options

Families are experiencing a time where nothing is normal. It is likely that they, and us, will not be returning to “normal” anytime soon, either. Consider for a moment that if families didn’t know all their options during normalcy, they certainly will not know their options now. They may not even know the right questions to ask you.

Provide examples, paint a picture for them, and ask questions about what they want. Be sure to remind families of the future opportunities for a gathering, celebration of life, or traditional funeral service. They will appreciate the gift of options.

3. Offer robust virtual grief resources on your website

Some families might not be able to focus on what to do for themselves right now, especially as it relates to grieving and coping. They may just be trying to get through life anyway they can. But in the coming weeks, they will be ready to take a look at the grief resources you offer.

When that the time comes, you want to be there to help them heal. That’s why it’s important for you to post information about grief on your website.

4. Utilize funeral webcasting

We know that one of the greatest parts of a funeral service is the ability for people to come together to share stories and memories of a loved one. Are you helping families gather together through virtual services or funeral webcasts?

While on the phone, explain to families the importance and value of live-streaming a funeral. Share information on how it’s done so they can become comfortable with the idea. Explain the importance of gathering loved ones together—online—to share the memories of the life that was lived.

Provide examples of how carrying out rituals—which can also be done on webcasts or livestreams—can be deeply comforting and reassuring, too. Even if an in-person funeral is postponed, make sure they know that coming together with other family members and friends can be a real source of strength in the meantime.

Resources from CRäKN To Use With Your Client Families

Your families are dealing with multiple forms of grief. Grief is already isolating, and they may feel even more alone right now. We’ve created two free resources you can offer your families on your website or through email to help them grieve and cope. Download them below:

Click here to download: “Begin Your Healing”

Click here to download: “Giving Yourself Permission to Grieve”

CRäKN’s COVID 19 Offer

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, CRäKN has eliminated case management fee. We do not want price to become an obstacle to keeping funeral professionals stay safe while serving families.

CRäKN is offering this emergency response for a one-time deeply discounted onboarding fee of just $295. Get started with the easiest, most efficient case management tool in the profession. Contact us today to learn more.

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