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How to Grieve if You Can’t Attend the Funeral of a Loved One


Funerals and other celebrations of life are a time for the family and friends of the deceased to gather, say their goodbyes, and get closure. But sometimes busy schedules, illness, or distance can keep people from being able to attend.


While funerals can be an important part of the healing process, there are other options that help people who can’t attend services cope with their grief.


What to Do if You Can’t Attend the Funeral of a Family Member or Friend

If you can’t attend a family member or friend’s funeral, consider these alternative methods for beginning your own personal healing journey:


Ask if the ceremony will be livestreamed.

Many families will choose to have their Loved One’s funeral livestreamed on the internet. This is a thoughtful choice that allows those who can’t make it in-person to still feel like a part of the event. 


Have a private memorial service at home.

If you can’t attend your Loved One’s funeral, you can still say goodbye to them privately in your own home. Consider reciting a special prayer in their honor or having a few moments of silence to reflect on their life and the memories you shared.


Keep a memento of your late Loved One close.

A Keepsake engraved with your late Loved One’s fingerprint can be a beautiful way to feel connected to their spirit. Even if you are far away from the visitation, funeral, and other services, you can still find comfort in holding your Loved One close.


Speak to family and friends who did attend the service.

Reach out to those who were able to attend the funeral and ask them about the events. Hearing them talk about the beautiful flower arrangements and heartfelt readings will help you to feel as though you were still a part of the day.


Visit the cemetery when you are able.

Finding time to travel to your Loved One’s resting place can be a meaningful way to say goodbye on your own. If you are able, visit their grave. While not the same as a funeral service, this experience is important for many people and can help with the grieving process.


There is no wrong way to grieve. Everyone says goodbye to their Loved Ones in different ways, and that is okay. What’s important is that you get the closure you need to begin healing.


We hope that you are on your way to peace. If you need further help navigating this time, please reach out to a trusted friend, grief counselor, or support group.