“We Can’t Say Goodbye Like We Wanted”: Funeral Restrictions from Covid-19


Some funeral homes now ban all mourners, while others have imposed strict restrictions in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic, shows ITV News research.

Certain places, including the crematoriums of Cheltenham and Belfast, will not allow any mourning inside the chapels.

Numerous councils, including Greenwich, Birmingham and Cardiff, greatly reduce the number of participants – Greenwich specifying as few as five mourners.

Medway Crematorium asks mourners to “not touch or kiss the coffin”, while in Eltham it is forbidden to “place flowers on the coffin”.

According to official guidelines, only members of the household or close family should attend. In Northern Ireland there is a limit of six people for funerals.

A funeral director, John Barsby, told us, “The family members were turned away and it made the emotions even worse.

“We have families who are in the crematorium knowing that their loved ones are outside and cannot attend. “

Haji Mohammad Rafique died with coronavirus, darling after years of dedication to his local Derby community.

Haji’s brother-in-law, Shokat Lal, told us, “Only 10 people can go to the funeral and the people were absolutely devastated.

“I have had people crying on the phone inconsolable. The biggest tragedy in all of this is that when it was his time, the community could not come together for him, as he did for other people. “

Although Bill Burrell did not die with coronavirus, his funeral also shows what many of the bereaved are facing.

When I met Bill’s daughter Sabrina Marley in Plymouth, she said to me, “We can’t wake up with all of his friends and family and we can’t say goodbye the way we wanted to.

“I’m going to participate in a funeral ceremony with four other people. “

With social distancing rules in place, she cannot comfort her mother.

“You can’t replace a hug and a shoulder to cry while talking on the phone … I just want to be able to hug my mom and brother.” “

As we move away from those who most need our comfort, those in the agony of grief are denied the most human aspects of consolation.

Coronavirus: everything you need to know


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