The Impact of COVID-19 on the Grief Process and the Funeral Therapy Services Project


The Impact of COVID-19 on the Grief Process and the  Funeral Therapy Services Project

“COVID came to destroy everything” testified Paulo Castilho from the Castilho Funeral Home, during the Webinar that took place on November 22, 2021.

In addition to the impact of restrictions on funeral services, restrictions regarding contact with family members residing in nursing homes caused consequences that later had an impact on the inability of family members to accept the death of their relative.

Relatives were not only prevented from visiting their relatives at home, but also from seeing the body of the deceased person, hindering the process of awareness of the loss “prevented from confronting the reality that the person is no longer present among us is, in fact, a trauma that is very difficult to recover from”.

The restrictions imposed also affected the funerals in a brutal way, making it difficult to start the grieving process, as it is during the funeral ceremonies that family members gather to share the pain and vent their sorrows related to the loss of their loved ones. He concluded that “the grieving process is already extremely difficult, but COVID-19 has made it almost impossible.”

Paulo Castilho shared with us one of the stories that marked him the most in January 2021 about a couple, whose husband and wife died eight days away from each other, and as their children were in prophylactic isolation, none of them could attend their parents' funeral.

This marked restriction certainly generated a feeling of guilt in the children for not being able to participate in the funereal ceremonies and give a last tribute to their parents.

Following these adversities, Paulo Castilho is of the opinion that the Funeral Therapy Services Project comes to help and bring alternative support to the existing possibilities for those who want to overcome grief.

There are several psychologists and psychiatrists who address the issues of grief, but a project with a dedicated space that allows people to share their sorrows, where we can overcome the pain with the support of each other and, as the cherry on top of the cake, to be able to count on with specialized support in grief is indeed unique, as “people increasingly need each other’s support.”

Sharing the pain and hurt allows everyone in the same process to realize that they are not alone. Each message shared on Solidarity Mourning ( will relieve the pain of those who write and read them because all are going through the same.

In addition, the project also offers to funeral homes or family members a dedicated space to honor the deceased, so that family members and friends can leave support messages, later compiled into an e-book and offered to perpetuate memories.

Honoring the deceased loved one, on one hand, and expressing the pain of loss, on the other, are two intense movements that will help several people!

Let's get over it together, and when we talk about getting over it, it doesn't mean forgetting the loved one who died, but allowing yourself to move forward and do something significant with your life. Allow yourself to feel, help, and be helped!

It is important that those who are going through a grieving process do not isolate themselves or close themselves in a shell, because “the worst prison of the human being is a closed heart” – Pope John Paul II.

Paulo Castilho ends with a message of encouragement for people to seek help to overcome the grieving process and improve their quality of life.

We are on this journey together and, if you have already had this experience, we invite you to leave your message on our website.

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