There is never a good time to lose a loved one, but the current emergency makes that experience worse than ever. No more than ten family members can be present at the funeral service.

Chairs inside the chapel are placed more than 2 m apart to ensure social distancing. Normally, the support and strength of a family makes a huge difference at a time of loss. Now, only those in the same household may sit together. While this keeps the virus at bay, it means that bereaved people who live on their own have no one to hold their hand during the service.

Last week I took the funeral of a wonderful lady and a long term member of another church living in Orchid Care Home. Valerie was born during the epidemic of Spanish flu just after WW1. She arrived in the world in one pandemic and departed in another. She and her husband married in 1940 only for them to be immediately separated for the next five years. He was sent to the Far East.

She was a reminder of the sacrifices and fortitude of past generations.

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