How to Navigate End of Life During a Pandemic
A guide to pre-planning, loss and grief in the age of COVID-19
No matter the world events, Lantern is here to guide you through life, before and after a death. COVID19 has added a layer of complexity to this process from enforcing limits on funerals to increasing feelings of isolation after a loss. It has also forced many to face their own mortality and seek ways to be better prepared.
So, we created this resource hub to help navigate each piece of the process in the time of COVID19. We will continue to add more services and articles as they surface. And, as always, feel free to share suggestions in the chat (lower corner of your screen) or by email: email@example.com.
Of course, Lantern continues to be here for your pre-planning, funeral, and post-funeral planning needs. You can find many of the resources listed below embedded within our checklists. Start your free checklist here. We’re here for you.
- Write a will. We recommend Trust + Will because they make estate planning simple, affordable, & accessible (and it's all online!). They can also help with Guardianship documents.
- Store your passwords in a digital vault that allows access by beneficiaries in case of emergency. We recommend 1Password but you can also use Lastpass. This is important for things like account closures and your digital legacy.
- Confirm you have a life insurance policy, it’s up to date, and you (and your beneficiaries) know how to find the policy. Don’t have one? We like Ladder.
- Start a conversation. Talking about end of life planning can be hard. Here's how to talk to your parents about it. Parents struggling to talk to your kids about death? Try these tips. Want to talk about mortality more generally? Here's a great place to start.
- And, if you can't be with a dying family member, here are some tips to navigate the process.
- Lifeweb can help you set up a virtual memorial service or memorial website. Here's a complete guide.
- Here's an FAQ on Burials and funerals under COVID-19.
- Funeralocity helps people nationwide identify best-in-class funeral providers.
- You can get online, direct cremation services for a flat rate in many states. Tulip and Solace are two examples. Your local funeral home can also support a direct cremation. Remember, an in-person memorial service can still be held at a later date.
- Learn 4 creative funeral service ideas during the coronavirus.
- Find 10 meaningful ideas for a memorial or funeral in isolation.
- Here are 10 poems and excerpts to recite at a funeral.
- The Dinner Party offers a Grief Ritual Toolkit and this folder with recommended podcasts, poems, books, quotes, apps, and media.
- Acknowledge that feeling isolated is a normal part of the process. Here are 7 Tips for Reducing Feelings of Isolation.
- Here's a story-sharing & listening guidebook for virtual gatherings.
- Try out Grief Coach, personalized text messages that help you stay connected and supported as you grieve. Even from a distance.
- Honor their memory. Not sure of what to say? Consider these non-verbal options.
- Tips for surviving early grief.
- Subscribe to this newsletter for weekly learning and exploration of grief.
Childrens’ / Family Grief
- Good Grief, a children’s grief org, created a toolkit for children & families.
- The Eluna Resource Center provides hundred’s of support tools for grieving families through their online library and personalized support services.
- My Good Grief Journal App encourages conversation between grieving children and adults.
- National Alliance for Grieving children created a guide to responding to change and loss.
- Apart of Me is an app to help explore love and loss.
- Check in virtually or, if you’re not certain of what to say, try writing it down and mailing it. Save the death anniversary and person’s birthdate in your calendar so that you can reach out on important milestone dates.
- If you want to send something monetary, consider a restaurant gift card or a grocery delivery to allow for future use.
- Offer to help with needed tasks (i.e. set up virtual memorial service, contact family/friends, create a memorial website).
- Here's a list of things to do when you're not sure what to do.
- Coordinate help for a friend or family member using Savo or GiveInKind.
- Send a thoughtful gift designed for someone experiencing a loss with Supportal. Looking for sweets? We especially love online orders from Jeni’s icecream and Dana’s Bakery (good dairy free and gluten free options, too)
Mental Health Support
- Crisis Text Line: Free, 24/7 support via SMS. Text 741741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor.
- Better Help: Get connected with an online therapist.
- The Mighty: engage in a community based on shared experiences.
- Shine is an app and community for people dealing with stress and anxiety.
- Headspace for guided meditations or Calm for better sleep.