Losing Someone While You Are Miles Away
There will come a time when a family member, friend, or casual acquaintance will pass away. It seems that now more than ever we find out about the passing of a friend or acquaintance through social media, e-mails, and short text messages. Thus, the question arises – how can you pay respects when you’re miles away?
Traditionally, people attend funerals as a way to pay respects to the family, to get closure, and to start the grieving process by celebrating the life of their loved ones. As more families are spread around the globe, it’s typical for those far away to feel some guilt for not being there for their loved ones. Not to mention the common emotions that come along with grief, including helplessness, fear, and sadness all intensify when you live far away.
These are some ways you can pay your respects and support your loved ones when the cost of traveling or the difficulties to arrange a trip keep you from attending the funeral.
Send a Sympathy Card
One of the most thoughtful ways to pay respects and offer your condolences is by sending a sympathy card. A heartfelt condolence message will let those mourning know that you’re thinking of them and their loved ones. A short and thoughtful sympathy card will be enough to provide some comfort to those mourning.
Make sure you address the sympathy card to the family. Express your regrets over not being able to attend the funeral, no need to include excuses; the fact that you are miles away is enough. End with a promise of a follow-up, whether it is a phone call or a visit – make sure it’s something you can follow through with.
If you have trouble finding the right words to say, use these heartfelt sympathy card messages.
Make a Video Call
When you cannot physically be there, take advantage of today’s technologies and be there virtually for your loved ones. While a simple call will be enough to pay your respects, a video call goes the extra mile. Being able to see the face of your loved ones and vice versa is an instant way to have a more meaningful connection. When you are miles away, a video call might be the closest thing you will have to a one-to-one encounter with your loved ones.
Send Sympathy Flowers
Thanks to the Internet, no matter where you are, you can still send a funeral flower arrangement to pay your respects and feel somewhat present during the funeral. During your phone or video call with the family, you might inquire about the funeral arrangements – date, time, and location. Use this information to know when and where to send your funeral flower arrangement. Depending on the family’s arrangements, you might have to schedule the delivery to their home.
Make a Donation
Some families choose donations in lieu of flowers, which is a lovely opportunity for those far away to pay their respects. Via an online donation, you can contribute to their loved one’s cause and show your support. When donating, make sure to state you are doing so in memory of their loved one. It ‘s customary to send a card or follow up with a phone call to let the family know you have made a donation and to express your condolences for their loss.
Sign an Online Funeral Guestbook
In today’s modern world, some families are creating an online funeral guestbook to allow family members and friends from everywhere in the world to express their condolences. Online funeral books are a thoughtful and straightforward way to pay your respects, even when you cannot attend the funeral in person. Also, online funeral books will be a treasure the family can cherish forever and revisit throughout their grieving process.
Attend the Funeral Online
Today’s modern funeral houses are offering funeral video streaming so families can stream their loved one’s services with their friends and family members. When placing the call to offer your condolences ask about the streaming, some families might be even hosting a private live video on social media for close family members; you might be able to join.
Attending the funeral online is a way to be present even when you are miles away. If they do, make sure to let them know you will be attending the online funeral service, as well as sending a sympathy card after the ceremony to express your condolences.
There are many ways to express your condolences no matter where you are. The important thing is to reach out to the family and let them know they can count on you even when you are not physically there. No matter how you choose to pay respects, reaching out to the family, no matter where you are will always show them you are there to support them and that they are in your thoughts and prayers.