How to Cope When Burial Ceremonies Have Been Postponed Due to Winter Weather

Posted by: Kelly Ryan in Grief and Guidance | 1 week ago
Obviously, there is no good time for a loved one to pass. The ability to cope with that loss is different for everybody, but it is all made harder when winter weather prohibits a burial service until months later. How does one grieve without the sense of some closure that a burial service provides is a difficult question to answer that would satisfy everyone. We certainly experienced this during the Covid-19 pandemic, when services were routinely postponed due to being unable to gather together. 

While virtual services helped during the pandemic, for many not having their loved one in their final resting place suspends their ability to be able to move forward. For many, however, it may still be a long wait. When my aunt passed away during the pandemic, we lost her in October of 2021 and weren’t able to gather at her burial service until April of this year. For our family, those six months seemed like forever and moving forward without my aunt in her final resting place seemed like six years.  

We all grieve differently, so as a family during those six months we stayed in touch, keeping each other up to date on how we were coping and some of the things we did to manage the grieving process. Some of us just kept the pain inside, as we found out later and we knew that was especially difficult. Others read books on grieving and utilized helpful ideas on how best to manage. Some of us came up with ways none of us were familiar with, and those ideas helped us too.  

Start Writing 

One of those ideas was to just start writing about our aunt – what we wanted to say to her that we hadn’t said before she passed, what we wanted to say at her burial service or just to express our thoughts on a daily basis. During our family updates, we’d exchange what we’d written, detailing our feelings and how we were coping with our aunt’s passing. It helped tremendously, not just the writing of our own thoughts, but hearing what our family members wrote as well.  

Organize Outings Around Things They Loved to Do 

My aunt was a florist, who loved nature, plants and trees. Every few weeks, we’d meet at the local arboretum or one of her favorite parks, depending on the weather and spend time with the flora and fauna, one of her favorite things to do. For many of us, we’d never accompanied our aunt on these trips, because just a walk through her backyard usually turned into a dissertation on roses, tulips and geraniums. But being able to go to the places she loved to visit the most that were not in her backyard turned out to be a soothing balm for us.  

Keep Their Charitable Endeavors Going 

Our aunt spent one day a month at the local food bank, on behalf of her church, sorting food, helping to organize donations and working with local residents to ensure the food was received by those in need. We were so heartened how many people, from her church and the food bank to those who regularly received needed food, told us how kind and caring our aunt was. That was something we didn’t expect – we knew she was someone of great character, but we had no idea the impact she’d had on others. To hear the stories of our aunt, and how she touched their lives, was such a great comfort to all of us. And we felt our own sense of impact by taking up our aunt’s charitable endeavors where she left off.  

Seek Professional Help 

After our aunt passed, two of her children started talking to grief counselors, which was a great help to them. There are many professional services for people to lean on to help with the grieving process and as is often the case, your company’s employee assistance plan covers grief counseling. When grief gets too much to handle on your own, grief counseling can really help.   

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