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“There’s going to be a lot of unresolved grief”: How Covid-19 funerals have upended traditions

Socially distanced mourning, 12-hour days, and and practising in full PPE—what the experience of funeral workers tells us about the changing face of grief

By Jason Murugesu  

People wear protective face masks as they attend a funeral mass for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) victims at the cathedral in Seville, Spain, June 5, 2020. Cordon Press

“I’ve cried a lot,” says Amanda Dalby, a funeral worker in Halifax, West Yorkshire. “I don’t usually! It unprofessional—it’s not my loved one. But during the pandemic, I couldn’t help myself. It’s been a traumatic experience.”

Soon after lockdown began in March, Park Wood Crematorium in Halifax announced that no mourners would be allowed to attend cremation services. This decision was swiftly reversed following objections by…

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