How to Navigate End of Life During a Pandemic

A Guide to Pre-Planning, Loss, and Grief in the Age of COVID-19

Posted Apr 20, 2020

Shutterstock, used with permission.
Source: Shutterstock, used with permission.

No matter the world events, we are here to guide you through life, before and after a death. COVID-19 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. 

We created this resource hub to help navigate each piece of the process in the time of COVID-19. We will continue to add more services and articles as they surface. And, as always, feel free to share suggestions in the chat (lower left corner of your screen) or by email: hello@lantern.co.

Of course, we continues to be here for your pre-planning, funeral, and post-funeral needs. You can find many of the resources listed below embedded within our checklists. Start your checklist here. 

Pre-Planning

  • Write a will. We recommend Trust + Will because they make estate planning simple, affordable, and 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. 

Funeral Planning

Adult Grief

Childrens’ / Family Grief

Supporting Others

  • 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.

Originally published on www.lantern.co