Using technology at a funeral, can have its benefits
August 13, 2022
Using technology is something I never thought would be so useful during the pandemic, when I got my head around the fact that my dad's funeral would only have 10 people.
But technology helped us more than ever, to stay connected, involve our loved ones who couldn't be there in person, and capture memories in ways that I would've quite frankly felt super uncomfortable with before... But now I think it is a necessity when thinking about access, location, and inclusivity.
When you hear the word ‘live-stream’ you often think of live events, social media, and online gaming, but if you’d said to us in 2020 that it would include funerals too, we probably wouldn’t have believed you either. If you’re thinking of making technology a part of a loved one's funeral or future planning for your own, keep reading for a handful of opportunities that technology can provide despite restrictions.
Since the global pandemic, the way we normally gather, celebrate, and interact with family and friends has changed dramatically, leaving so many of us to turn to technology to help bring people together when they can’t be present physically.
With so many industries under strict rules and guidelines, funerals have been no exception which has been extremely difficult for grieving families to say the least. But while this hasn’t been the easiest of adjustments, live-streaming has made it possible for family and friends to attend virtually for a variety of reasons whether it’s down to restrictions, shielding, or being miles and continents away.
Using live streaming has been almost essential for separated family and friends in some 2020/2021 funerals, even though it may never compare to physically being there. Below we’ve got some food for thought on the different ways technology can help keep you connected in even the most difficult of times.
Firstly, there's no limit to the amount of people that can attend a service virtually, whereas even in normal times there's a limit to the number of people that can fit comfortably into a chapel or church. Secondly, it completely removes the need to travel allowing friends and family across the world to attend from home, without the concern of cost, distance, health, or physical ability.
And finally, live streaming also allows you to create a saved recording of the service, which means anyone who may not be able to attend virtually can still watch it back, and allows those that were there to keep a copy of the day forever.
Over the years technology has transformed our ability to capture, record and share real life keep-sakes of special memories. Sharing these memories is quite common at funerals already, but more people are embracing this by including videos, pictures and recorded tributes on the day. Including their favourite memories, moments, and milestones, which can then be broadcasted to everyone’s screens, whilst others who have words, music or stories to share can create recorded tributes in advance too.
There are many creative ways of hosting virtual memorials and wakes similar to live streaming and sharing digital memories or tributes. These can be arranged around anniversaries and birthdays too, which can improve accessibility and allow more people to get involved, pay their respects, and remember loved ones in new ways.
Some memorials have even been made into online sites so family and friends can post and share all their digital memories to exist forever. And others have invited people to attend a virtual wake watching their loved one’s favourite film all at the same time from home too. This can be done through the new feature that has recently been added to Disney + (Group Watch) and Netflix (Netflix Party). Often, the more creative an idea is, the more meaningful it can feel, and technology allows for unlimited opportunities in celebrating and remembering a loved one.
These are just a few of the different ways that technology can be used for the ones we love. As we’re living in unusual times, we hope this has given you some new ideas to think of around funerals or memorials.
Please let us know if you have any other ideas that we haven’t listed, or how you’ve used technology within a funeral service you have had to organise.