(English only) The importance of remembrance: It’s time to rethink how we keep loved ones’ memories alive

A chiropractor’s table, a canoe and a bicycle. At first, these items don’t appear to have much in common. But they are among the special objects Isabelle Gallen, Beechwood Cemetery’s manager of funeral services, has seen families bring in to remember their loved ones. Remembrance is a significant aspect of grief — and one that makes up a critical piece of Beechwood’s services. It was also severely impacted by COVID-19, as for two years mandated restrictions limited how families were able to remember their deceased. Now, as restrictions have lifted, Gallen says it’s time to rethink how we keep loved ones’ memories alive.

“Families are looking to get closure,” says Gallen. “The COVID-19 restrictions have varied, so depending on when a loved one passed, some services had a capacity of just 10 people. If you have 13 family members, making that decision of who would attend was extremely difficult. We are seeing families reach out to us now to have a time to remember. That remembrance is essential for the grieving process.”

Nick McCarthy is Beechwood’s director of marketing, communications and community outreach. He says answering the question, “How do you want to be remembered?” is an important part of the process. This requires families to have conversations that remove the discomfort of pre-funeral or pre-celebration of life planning. Making decisions about remembrance while loved ones are still alive also lessens the burden for families during the difficult time of loss.

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