What happens if someone dies during the coronavirus outbreak?


Our lives are very different at the moment.

Schools and colleges are closed, people are not working or working from home, we are being told to not meet friends and the way we hold funerals is different too, but still as important. It’s a really difficult time when someone we love dies, but if this happens during the coronavirus outbreak it may mean children and young people won't be able to attend the funeral.

Not being able to see family, friends or teachers for support during the lockdown can make them feel alone and grieving even harder. You may feel frustrated and anxious about how you can say goodbye to your loved one due to these restrictions especially if it means you can’t attend the funeral.


Current rules

The rules at the moment are to make sure social distancing takes place and to limit the number of people who can attend a funeral to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Advice around funerals is constantly changing, ask an adult to check the latest advice here or look on Wakefield Council website.

Different rules may apply about seeing the body of the person who died at the chapel of rest (funeral home).


Finding support

If you need support Winston's Wish has a trained team who can help you through this difficult time and they can be contacted by phone, online chat, email and also have a crisis line.

Locally there is Star Bereavement who can be contacted by phone, facebook or through their website


If you can’t attend the funeral, what other ways can you say goodbye?

  • Help with planning the funeral, have a say on the choice of flowers, music or songs played, write a tribute or poem to be read at the service.
  • Write a letter, draw something or find a special photograph to be put in the coffin with your loved one.
  • Ask if someone will take photographs so you can see the building inside and out, flowers etc.
  • Some funerals are being live streamed so families and friends can be part of the service at home or they can record it and watch it together afterwards to support each other.
  • If the family is arranging a memorial for the future or getting together to remember and celebrate the person's life, ask to help with the arrangements.
  • Make your own memorial, plant their favourite flowers, create a memory book or have a cushion made out of a piece of their clothing that smells and reminds you of them which can be a great comfort.

Adapted from Winston’s Wish website