The Importance of Holding a Funeral–Even a Year Later

Chris Hamilton, his wife Kristin and their three daughters held a memorial service recently for his mother, Rona, who died last year, days after the pandemic-related lockdown began. They picked the weekend of her April 23 birthday and set out chairs for 20 relatives and close friends in the yard of their Broomall, Pa., home.

A celebrant officiated. The girls, ages 9, 7 and 6, wrote and read poems about gardening with Nana. Mr. Hamilton, an only child whose father died a decade ago, delivered a eulogy that he had been thinking about for the past 13 months. He had wanted to honor his mother’s life with a gathering, but the pandemic made doing so safely impossible for months. “The guilt and weight on my shoulders for the last year has been lifted,” he says.

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