A Virtual Funeral

Paul is one of my oldest and dearest friends. I have known him and his family for a long time. On the 28th of September, his father Harry died at the age of 91. I knew him of course, and we always had a great relationship. We exchanged letters, he sent me books, and I visited him in his homes in Devon over the years.

In normal circumstances, I would have attended the funeral today. But in 2020, circumstances are not normal. Reduced numbers allowed, wearing of face masks, and the prospect of a long car journey in excess of six hours each way. So I declined the invitation to attend the service today, and was pleased to hear that it was going to be streamed online for anyone who lived too far away, or was unable to attend for other reasons.

I logged on using a link sent by email, and watched the funeral on the large monitor of my PC. Using the full screen option, I really felt as if I was there, watching from the ‘third row’. Julie watched it using her smartphone, and it was also good to see people we have not met up with for many years now.

This is a very ‘modern’ experience, but I have to say it worked exceptionally well. And during the thirty minute duration, the sound and vision remained first rate.

Henry (Harry) Clement was a former regular soldier in the Grenadier Guards. He went on to become a police officer in London’s Metropolitan Police. His career saw him rise to a very senior rank in the detective branch, during which time he was involved in some of the most high-profile criminal cases in British history. Harry was a relgious man, and a devoted family man too. The service refelected this, with prayers and hymns, a eulogy read by Paul, and a poem read by his sister, Elizabeth.

RIP Harry Clement. A good man, who lived a good life.

41 thoughts on “A Virtual Funeral

  1. One of the really good things about technology is that it can open up so many experiences for people who can’t travel for whatever reason, be it health, finances or family commitments. So sorry for your loss and glad you got to participate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so glad you were able to at least be a part of the funeral, in some way. My dad died in April and the funeral was a nightmare to orchestrate-we barely got just the family together-outside event. It was what we could do-no flowers, which I never cared about, til I saw Daddys’ bare grave=Also, I have been reading that the covid cases in Europe are of great concern =again. Our cases in NC are rising too. But . . .they have opened up anyway and many folks do not take precautions, still. Prayers for all in the loss of a good man. The world sure can’t stand to lose a nit more nobility.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Michele. Using the video streaming worked well, and is a very nice thing to have when funeral attendance is restricted. Covid cases are at March levels again here, with lockdowns in place in around one-third of the country. But without the previous financial support, it will be hard to enforce. Also, university students and some young people have been behaving very irresponsibly, with large parties and other gatherings. I fear it is going back to its most dangerous level again.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is the same here-numbers in our state of NC rising and folks attending political rallies, dining in at restaurants and gathering in Churches. Senseless times, beyond my wildest imagination. . .or maybe I am too old to. Take care and go well-x Muchele

        Liked by 1 person

      1. My brother died early this year, and due to Covid we have been unable to have a funeral. If I traveled, I would have to self quarantine for two weeks upon returning. Perhaps a virtual funeral is something to consider. It’s good knowing the experience is not feeling detached. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Pete. I know of many people who have not had any funeral or celebration of life during the last several months—one more sign of the times.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Condolences on your loss, but was happy to read you were able to attend the services in such a way. Many here, on various fronts/circumstances have not been able to. So it was good to read this and know, technology and all for such things is working well and as planned in various areas!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am sorry about your loose of a good friend too, Pete! Its good the used modern technology to give others the chance beeing part of his last way. It can not replace a real participation, but these times are horrible, this way too. May he rest in peace. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry about the lose of your friend, Pete. I never heard of a virtual funeral before. It sounds like a good alternative for these days. I wish they had one last week when a good friend of mine passed away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They don’t do them everywhere yet, Don. It depends on the undertaker, and the location of the service. It was good to be able to feel as if I was there this morning, as it is 350 miles away.
      They are also doing them for wedding services too, because of the restriction on numbers.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. (1) So you’re touting the virtues of a virtual funeral?
    (2) You used a link in order to view the funeral, which is an event caused by the severing of the link between body and soul.
    (3) It’s comforting to know that Harry watched the funeral remotely from an undisclosed location in Heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

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