Ep. 294 Virtual Funerals and Memorials: How and Why to Hold Them with Merilynne Rush

Learn best practices for creating a meaningful and powerful funeral or memorial service online.

My guest Merilynne Rush is an EOL Doula Mentor, Home Funeral Guide, Green Burial Educator, Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Death Cafe host, former hospice nurse, and former home birth midwife. Today she shares her personal experience planning and hosting a virtual memorial service for her father, including all of the challenges and benefits of taking on such a task. She offers helpful advice to anyone who feels called to plan a virtual ceremony and explains why this new way of being together after a loved one dies is likely here to stay. Learn more about her work at her website:


Read her blog post on Virtual Memorials here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The importance of funeral and memorial rituals and why they should happen sooner rather than later after a death
  • Why a virtual ceremony can be just as effective as in-person
  • Why good planning and organization is essential for conducting an online event
  • Getting outside help from a tech assistant and an “MC” to manage the flow of the ceremony
  • Creating an effective “script” for the event
  • Why breakout rooms are helpful at the end of the ceremony
  • Tips for creating a slide show to use during the event
  • How virtual gatherings can “carry all the love” we want to share and help with our grief
  • Why virtual funerals and memorials are likely to continue even after the pandemic

Links mentioned in this episode:

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