We don’t always have full control over things happening around us. No matter how much we love the departed or how much effort we try to exert, sometimes it’s impossible to attend a funeral. There are plenty of reasons why this happens, whether it’s because of our job, limited financial resources or previous commitments.
As unfortunate as it may sound, there are different ways you can deal with missing the funeral of a loved one. Once again, there is no hard and fast rule in this situation. Coping differs from one person to the next. The important thing here is making any form of effort to express your respect to the departed.
Funerals are designed for the living
Just because you cannot attend a funeral does not automatically indicate you do not uphold the departed. Funerals are mainly designed for the living, a service to pay tribute to the one who passed away. This means there are more than enough ways for you to pay respect at your own time and pace.
Do not blame yourself
You’ve tried your best to find a way to be present during the service. However, it’s to no avail. Understand that you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. It’s not unusual for people to miss funerals. In fact, it’s common among many. That’s why modern practices include live feed for relatives and friends from far away to still witness the funeral, even through a screen.
When you learn of the death of the person through email, it is best to respond right away. The same goes when you receive a text message or a phone call. Since you cannot physically attend the service, let the relatives and friends of the deceased know that you are extending your sympathies to them.
There are other ways to supplement the immediate action. You can send a condolence card, a bouquet of flowers, a fruit basket or other practical items. If you can, any form of donation to ease the financial burdens will also be of great help to the ones left behind.
If you think you can commit to visiting a certain data at this point, you can let the family and friends of the deceased know.
Frequent phone calls or any means to keep in touch before, during and after the service will also mean a lot. This way, you are still present even in spirit.
Coping on your own
It is especially hard when it’s the funeral of a family member or a close friend. You may feel you haven’t done enough to be there. Again, do not blame yourself. There are just some things that we don’t have power over.
The good news is you can cope with missing the service in more ways than one. Look on the bright side and consider the following tips:
Dedicate an activity to the deceased
Choose one activity as a way to pay tribute to the departed. Whether it’s knitting, biking or going to a gallery, it would be ideal for that activity to be one of the deceased’s favorites. Not only is this an engaging way to remember that person by. It is also a fun way to cherish those memories with the person.
Frame a photo
Find your most favorite photo of the person and make it a visible memorabilia at home. Whether it’s a picture of the departed alone or with you, it’s a great way to immortalize the wonderful times you have spent with him or her.
Do something creative
Write a poem, make a painting, take a photo — create something that is inspired by the one who passed away. Whatever you do, simply express yourself. Not only does this stand as a tribute to the person. It is also a recreational and productive way of mourning. Remember, mourning the death of someone isn’t only limited to somber moments. To each, his own.
Dial a number
It will be exceptionally hard to miss out on a funeral, especially if that someone is near and dear to you. When you feel down, dial the number of the person you can lean on. Everyone is in a grieving stage and one of the best ways to do so is to be in it together. On the other hand, you can also reach out to someone you know is having a difficult time coping as well. Listen and sympathize with him or her. During these trying times, one thing we need most is each other. We should all try our best to keep each other in the light instead of falling into a dark, depressive state.
Pray and meditate
Sometimes, we are able to think best when we are at our most quiet phase. Whether it’s prayer or meditation, allow yourself a solemn time to grieve and mourn. Commit yourself to a private time and place. If you feel like talking to the departed, talk out loud. Unburden yourself. In due time, days may feel brighter and the weight may feel less and less heavy.