Funerals and Covid

Hi All,
I’m new to this forum, so please forgive me if this topic has already been discussed to exhaustion.
Sadly, my mother died on Friday. Looking at Covid guidance for funerals, any ‘linked ceremonial events’ (ie; the reception or wake) are limited to 15 people, must not take place in private homes, and must take the form of a sit down meal.
This means people can’t even mingle but must sit at separate tables with only members of their own household/support bubble. It would mean literally 2-3 people per table and would be so joyless as to be not worth doing, in my opinion.
Therefore, as we can’t even all go back to mum’s house afterwards, my plan is to do nothing straight after the funeral but perhaps have a gathering to celebrate mum’s life at some future date.
I just wondered what people think of this idea? I gather that a lot of people are doing this but I still worry about disapproval from my family.
I would really welcome your impartial opinions. Thanks!

I am sorry for the loss of your Mum.

My Auntie (also my Godmother) died during this pandemic. Only immediate family were able to go to the her funeral. I am really hoping that we can have something similar to what you are proposing after this pandemic is over. I would love the chance to get together with my cousins and celebrate my Auntie’s life and reminisce about shared times.


Thanks Melly and I’m sorry about the loss of your aunt.
Did everyone just go their separate ways after the funeral snd were they understanding about doing so?
I have relatives coming from Oxfordshire and Hampshire and feel guilty about sending them straight home. However, if people can’t mingle and speak to one another but must just sit with the people they came with, I simply can’t see the point.

Am sorry for your loss.
I personally feel it is up to each individual. If they feel the need to attend the service, then maybe they should. However they have to understand that there can not be a get together afterwards, not your rules(!). A celebration of life as soon as possible is the best thing if that is what you will want. Don’t worry about family disapproval, if that is likely to happen. You are doing your best at an extremely sad time, made worse because of the pandemic.

Hi Mark,
My auntie died during total Lockdown. Places of worship were still closed. There was a graveside service with very limited numbers - her daughters, their husbands and a few eldest grandchildren and the priest. One daughter stayed in a hotel as she lived four hours drive away and one couldn’t come as she lives in France. There was no get together afterwards as everywhere was shut. I couldn’t go because of the limit on numbers. I understand that but would really like to go to something on the future to give me closure and to support my cousins.

There is nothing stopping relatives sitting at separate tables at a venue afterwards if that’s what they want to do. You could send them details of places they can book but explain you would like to organise something after the pandemic.

Hope that helps.


It is such a shame that people cannot pay their respects in the normal way. When my husband died we had over 200 attend the funeral and we arranged a buffet meal for everyone afterwards. Some friends had come from as far away as Cornwall and Newcastle, and I wanted them to have something before they went home again. These are very different times, but everyone knows how important it is to stick to the current restrictions. I would certainly make an effort to ensure that those who could not easily travel back to a later celebration of life were given priority. Last week my son and I were in Devon, most venues are very well aware of the rules about table spacing etc., and they are also desperate for business, so should be very helpful. I’d suggest somewhere as near as possible as the church or crematorium. Ask the funeral director, they are very familiar with what is available in the area.

Thanks everyone!
Actually, after all my worrying, I found that everyone was fine about the arrangements. If anything, their own worries about Covid meant they were relieved either not to come in person or to keep it brief and socially distanced.
Thanks again,

That’s good, Mark.

Hope all runs smoothly on the day.