Planning A Funeral One Year Later

Old black and white photo of mother and daughter.


Funerals are a powerful way to bring family and community together to honor a loved one. However, sometimes life gets in the way. Maybe, due to other hardships, family members simply cannot gather for a funeral. COVID-19 showed us that unprecedented events can prevent gatherings, and keep our families apart. You might realize one day that a whole year has passed, and you never held a funeral service for your loved one.


Navigating life without the closure offered by a funeral makes it difficult to find a new rhythm of life. For one year, you cannot move on. You cannot accept a new normal, because you haven’t properly faced and accepted the loss of your loved one. When you decide not to hold a funeral, you deny your family, your community, and yourself the way forward.


No matter how much time has passed, it’s never too late to give your loved one a funeral. Since 1862, Chapman Funerals and Cremations has been helping families heal through the power of the funeral. In those 160 years, we’ve faced many unprecedented events, including pandemics and the uncertainty they bring. Holding a funeral service one year later might seem unusual to you, but for us, it’s just how we adapt to the changes that life has in store for all of us.



There are a few things to keep in mind as you plan a funeral a year after loss has occurred. Here’s what you need to know.


Why Should I Hold A Funeral After So Much Time Has Passed?

A funeral isn’t just for the loved one you’ve lost. It’s for you. It’s for your family. And it’s for your community. Because of this, it doesn’t matter how much time as passed. Even a postponed funeral due to COVID allows everyone who loved your loved one to come together as one to grieve, remember, and heal. A funeral, even when it happens after your loved one has been gone for a year or more, offers you and your family closure. It allows you to accept the reality of loss, move forward, and begin the healing journey.


Will A Funeral After So Long Look The Same?

While there will be some differences between a funeral service that happens immediately after loss and a delayed funeral, it will look remarkably the same. You can still hold a traditional funeral service, and if your loved one was cremated, you can hold a burial service for your loved one’s cremated remains, if you choose. A scattering service is also an option. While a viewing will not be possible, you can invoke your loved one’s presence through photographs, keepsakes, and eulogies. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask your family and friends to come together to share meaningful memories of your loved one.


What Are Some Challenges I Might Face?

There are a few differences you might encounter between a funeral soon after death and a postponed funeral. You might find it challenging to gather family and friends, since your loved one isn’t fresh in their memories. Additionally, grief affects everyone differently, and facing the anniversary of your loved one’s death could be difficult for you and your family. However, a few differences shouldn’t deter you from honoring your loved one with a funeral. Your family and community will still want to come together to celebrate your loved one. Grieving and remembering as one is a powerful way to pay respect to your loved one, and move forward from loss.


At all of our funeral home locations in Massachusetts – Falmouth, West Falmouth, Mashpee, Martha's Vineyard, Wareham, Harwich, Yarmouth, Marstons Mills, Nantucket, Bridgewater, and East Bridgewater – we are here to help support and guide our community during their times of need. If you have any questions about funeral or burial services, or are in need of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always available.

Laying a loved one to rest is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to endure, but we’re here to make it as simple as possible.



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