Virtual Grieving With a Smartphone

A church in Kent, England, will allow friends and family all over the world to mourn the passing of their loved ones by live-streaming their funerals. The Kent and Sussex Crematorium and Cemetery, in Tunbridge Wells, is installing a camera so that mourners who are unable to physically attend a funeral will be able to pay their respects by watching it from their laptops, tablets or smartphones.


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Registrar Ken Dry said: “The webcasting facility is a service that we hope will be of help to families and friends who are unable to attend a funeral, perhaps because they live too far away.

Details may be found at

I like technology but must admit that some old-fashioned ideas are still best. I am not sure I would attend a funeral virtually. Would you?


No one will have to get out of their pj’s for anything!


This is not “Breaking News.” I watched the funeral of my best friend’s beloved mother (aged 98) just last week. It was streamed worldwide via webcam from a Catholic church in Northern Ireland. This proved to be a very useful service because one of the sons of the deceased, residing in England, could not attend in person due to ill health. The funeral mass was still a moving ceremony when viewed on my PC. Many RC churches in the Republic of Ireland broadcast mass and other ceremonies to their local community via webcams. The elderly parishioners really appreciate this service.


I just viewed a memorial service in Iowa that was shared after it was streamed live. I wanted to attend but due to no relationship recognized by our jobs, we were not able to go to the funeral. I appreciated being able to view the memorial service. Still cried, but in private.


I missed the funeral of a close and dear relative because I had the previous day come out of hospital following an emergency operation and couldn’t travel the 75 miles or so. I felt awful about missing it and would have felt so much better if I could have watched it on my laptop.


This is not new. We live streamed my late mother’s funeral a year and a half ago so that my son overseas could view the proceedings.


It is happening in Australia. My best friends Mum passed a couple of months back. They funeral was in Sydney and I was in Tasmania. I attended the funeral via cyber space.


My aunt’s funeral in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (Canada) was live streamed way back in 2007. I thought this was great as I was not able to attend due to distance (I live in Montreal) and felt awfully as she was more of a grandmother than an aunt (she practically raised my mom).


My daughter in Australia was unable to attend my mother’s funeral in Canada. I “smuggled” a cell phone into the funeral chapel and called her just before the funeral began. She even “came” with us to the cemetery. Streaming would have been preferable.


I saw my Mother-in- law’s funeral live streamed from England last year, she was 100. Neither I nor my daughters could attend being in Australia. It is a great idea.


We had a google hangout set up at my mother-in-law’s funeral 4 years ago so all her grandchildren could attend virtually. They each were able to share memories of her and we felt like we all shared the experience. I suggested that the funeral home set up a system to facilitate this for other families, but it seems like it is still newsworthy, so not many are doing it.


As you can see above, not everyone that would dearly love to go to pay their last respects can go. What a lovely idea.


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