1. If I or members of my family are in isolation, will we miss the funeral?
We will keep your loved one safe until the funeral can be properly arranged and you are out of isolation. We understand this is a huge concern for many families so we want to reassure anyone reading this that you will be able to attend the funeral when you are ready.
2. Can I or my family see our loved one to say goodbye?
Throughout this crisis we have provided viewing opportunities even for those who died of Covid-19. Where it is safe to do so, and respecting the social distancing guidance, you can leave mementos (for cremations some items may need to be returned to you), letters, even a favourite book or team strip when you come to say goodbye.
3. Who can attend the funeral?
The Scottish Government issued guidance in March limiting attendance to close family. This typically means spouses, parents, siblings or children but in the absence of these, friends or carers would qualify. Cemeteries and crematoria may also specify limits so we can advise you on the particular circumstances based on your funeral choices. It’s worth noting that we are not currently allowed to use our limousines so family may choose to walk behind the hearse or travel in their own cars.
4. Can we send flowers?
Yes, many florists remain open and deliver to us so flowers accompany the hearse. Use a newspaper notice or social media to guide others as to your preferences: some families do not want flowers, some do.
5. What can we do within the restrictions to make this funeral more personal?
We’re here to help you arrange a dignified and personal send-off even in these unprecedented times. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Freely use our online obituary to share news amongst family and friends, neighbours, colleagues and other networks on social media especially when normal gatherings are limited
- Include younger family members by writing messages/letters or draw and paint bunting – both of which can be left with the coffin
- Get family and friends to record video messages or prepare a photo presentation for use at the funeral
- Involve social or sport club members to provide strips or clubs/racquets to dress the coffin or colleagues to prepare a tribute
- Plan a route of significance so the hearse passes neighbours and community landmarks of personal significance
- Encourage neighbours to clap, toast with a dram, write a poster of condolence as the hearse passes, ensuring they are in line with social guidance limits
- Commission floral tributes to reflect the life lived: we’ve seen JCB tractors, planes, flags as well as names or team colours
- Record or live stream the service both from graveside or crematoria
- We can produce extra orders of service for posting to those who could not attend so make this a special lasting tribute
- We can store ashes in our ashes library until a celebration or memorial is arranged at a later date
- Use this time to prepare a memorial or celebration of life once restrictions are lifted. For some this will be a party, others a chance to scatter ashes and for others choosing a memorial for both graves and ashes. In all these instances, we can help and guide you.
Finally we have complimentary bereavement support available to you or members of your family. From books on managing grief that we can deliver to you, one to one or group counselling by phone, or once restrictions are lifted, group bereavement programmes in Edinburgh, lean on our experience to help you.