#Fast4earth Plant a memorial!
The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations Rev 22:2
“I hope you never have to stay home , while your loved one is being cremated without any relative to say goodbye or pay respects”; “His body came in a closed bag, he wasn’t buried in a coffin” : “It is the saddest thing in the world to lose a child and not be able to go to his burial, not being able to do anything. It is really, really, really difficult. It is unbearable “” Everyone there was wearing masks, the gravediggers were wearing PPEs, it even seemed like Chernobyl. We had only 20 minutes”
COVID19 has brought many losses, and one of the most painful has been around funerals. We have not been able to attend funerals of loved ones. Instead of bringing comfort, often COVID funerals have brought more trauma as we are not allowed to hug the grieving, or open the coffin to say goodbye. Even singing has been taken away from us.
Psychology has long recognised the important emotional role of funeral rituals in all cultures. It is a time to say goodbye, to support those who are mourning and an important step along the long and difficult path to healing.
A lack of rituals makes it difficult to accept that the person has gone. There is no time to say goodbye, there is no closure. The dominating feeling is that a cycle was opened but not closed:. The process of mourning the dead, of gathering the family and friends to get comfort and solidarity has been interrupted. Funerals are often rushed with no space for tributes, and sanitized with funeral staff in PPE.
There is a danger that people may experience complicated grief, for they were unable to say goodbye, or experience community support. Complicated grief is psychological distress that tends to go on indefinitely, without leading to closure. Such grief can lead to physical symptoms, depression, self-blame and difficulty in imagining a meaningful future without the loved one.
We need rites of passage, we need places to mourn. The planting of a memorial tree can help to create a space where family members can come together and share memories and prayers. As the tree is planted an informal prayer service can be held.
The tree also provides a physical place where family members can gather from time to time, and as they water and care for the tree, it can bring healing of the pain of loss.
The effect of suppressing funeral rituals during the COVID-19 pandemic on bereaved families * https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7478881/