Living abroad can be a wonderful adventure, but it sometimes means missing important family events. It can be tough looking at photos of happy weddings and birthdays, however missing out on sadder occasions can feel even worse.
The internet might be the answer to staying connected, even during the tough times. Just as you might video message your family on holidays, live streaming a loved one’s funeral could help you and others living afar take part in this important service.
Saying goodbye online
Death is often unexpected. It can be tough, if not impossible, to plan for attending a funeral. Expats especially may have trouble getting time off work or booking flights on short notice to make it home in time for the service.
Even if a last-minute flight is available, travel can be expensive. Sometimes people take out funeral insurance to help loved ones living abroad attend their funeral, but this isn’t always the case. As much as you’d like to be there in person, this may not be financially possible.
Live streaming the service could be a good way to still feel like you’re a part of the day. The idea of watching a live streamed funeral may seem strange at first. However, it’s really no different than watching the service for a public figure on TV. Billions tuned in to farewell people like Princess Diana and Michael Jackson. So why not live stream your relative’s funeral?
Many funeral homes are already offering this service to families. With more people living far from home than ever before, funeral directors are helping meet the needs of expats and the homebound alike.
Tips for watching a funeral online
Watching a live stream of a loved one’s funeral could help you grieve and provide closure if you can’t be there in person. People often think of the internet as a “casual” space, and it might feel strange to be watching such a solemn event online. However, there are things you can do to help give the day the respect it deserves.
- Check your internet connection. It could be upsetting to lose the feed during the service. Make sure your connection is strong enough or arrange to watch it elsewhere, if needed.
- Dress for the day. Wearing clothes as if you were attending the service in person could help set the tone and put you in the right frame of mind.
- Ask a friend to watch with you. Having someone you love and trust join you could help create a sense of community and provide you with emotional support throughout the day.
- Talk to your family. It may be helpful to video chat or call your family on the day, either before or after watching the funeral. You may also use this time to offer your condolences to other relatives, if appropriate.
Living abroad may mean you’re not always physically there for family and friends, but you can still show your emotional support from afar. Watching a live streamed funeral service is just one way that expats can take part in family events when they’re not able to make it home. Even during the toughest times, the internet provides a way to show how much we care.