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COVID-19 has unmoored many lives in the past year. We have all experienced unprecedented hardships, and the uncertainty of life has made many of us feel unsure of how to return to the way things once were. In addition to these difficulties, many families across the world have experienced unimaginable losses. Because of the pandemic’s disruptions to our daily lives, some grieving families were not able to hold a funeral service for their loved one. It’s a terrible position for a family to find themselves in, and Horan & McConaty wants to help.

In the past months, life has begun to slowly return to normal. Now that we are able to gather in larger numbers, we are encouraging families who’ve lost a loved one in the past year to honor them with a funeral service. A funeral is a healing way for families to gather, to grieve together, and celebrate a life, and after a year of social distancing, this is more important than ever. In addition to loss, families have weathered the strain of separation. A funeral service is a meaningful way for everyone to reconnect and pay tribute to someone they love.

Photo frames with old family member photos resting against the backs of white lawn chairs.

If you have experienced loss in the last year, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to hold a funeral service a year or more after the loss has occurred. It’s not only possible, but it can look remarkably like a service that has taken place soon after death. Because the goal of a service is to offer a path toward healing for you and your family, it does not matter how much time has passed. Even if your loved one’s remains cannot be present, there are many ways to invoke their presence, such as through photographs, their personal belongings, and through eulogies, music, or more informal stories.

However, there are a few key differences between planning a funeral soon after death and a year or more after. It might be harder to gather your family and friends for a service. Your loved one’s passing might not be as fresh in their minds, or they could be back at work after a year of quarantine. Additionally, traditional aspects of a funeral, such as a viewing, will not be possible. But that doesn’t mean a funeral service isn’t worth the effort. Your family and friends will still want to come together in remembrance, and mementos that represent your loved one can be a very meaningful way to feel as though they are present.

While a funeral that takes place long after a loss is an important step on the path toward healing, the one-year anniversary of a death can be difficult. You might not know how to celebrate your loved one when you miss them so much and were unable to start the healing process with a funeral close after their death. It will feel very similar to opening up the wound. Or, you might not know how to feel after such a difficult year.

The grieving journey is different for everyone, and it’s helpful to be prepared for any emotion you might experience during a funeral service. That’s why we founded our HeartLight Center For Grief Services. We support our Denver community by providing support groups, workshops, and educational opportunities and resources to help you and your family navigate this difficult time. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since your loss—we are here for you for as long as you need us.

Horan & McConaty is committed to providing care to you and your family after a year of loss and hardships. We want you to be able to celebrate the life of your loved one no matter how much time has passed, and we will do everything we can to support you and your family through this process. Call us, day or night, at 303.745.4418 to learn more about our services or support, or visit any of our seven funeral homes in the Denver Metro area.

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