Brookfield, WI — According to a study by the University of Southern California, for every COVID-19 death, nine close family members are left behind to grieve that individual. More than one million people have died of COVID in America and more than 6 million people have died globally – communities are experiencing what some have called a secondary “pandemic of grief.” To help funeral homes bring a measure of healing to the communities they serve, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) created Remember Together, a planning guide and toolkit to help funeral homes plan COVID-19 memorial events.
“Whether someone experienced the death of a loved one due to COVID or some other cause, so many people have experienced unimaginable loss during the pandemic,” said Gail Marquardt, NFDA vice president of consumer engagement. “These losses are compounded by the fact that they may not have been able to be with their loved one when they died; many were also unable to have a funeral. Holding a memorial event for your community can bring comfort to people who may be grieving by acknowledging their losses, holding space for their grief, and helping to keep the memory of friends and loved ones alive.”
The centerpiece of the Remember Together materials is a planning guide that offers ideas for remembrance events and activities a funeral home could host in their community. The guidebook also offers guidance on how to organize and promote a memorial event in the community.
The Remember Together materials also include a toolkit, filled with customizable templates – including social media posts, a news release, print ads and a postcard. NFDA has also made educational podcasts and blogs available for members to share on social media to bring solace to their community.
NFDA members can download the Remember Together guidebook and toolkit at no charge from the association website, www.nfda.org/RememberTogether.
“Funeral homes have a long history of supporting their community during tragedies and, as we enter a new phase of the pandemic, this is another opportunity to offer a space in which people can share the deep grief they have experienced,” said Marquardt. “If you host an event, we hope you will tell us about it. We have a simple form on our website, www.nfda.org/RememberTogether, where you can tell us how you’re using Remember Together in your community.”
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.