HONOLULU (KHON2) — Diamond Head Mortuary is now offering a first of its kind, interactive, collaborative virtual funeral and memorial service. This innovative and highly personal approach to funeral and memorial services allows families and friends to memorialize, eulogize, and celebrate loved ones from the comfort of their own homes. This innovative service is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, by local funeral directors, clergy as well as individuals and businesses concerned about the inability to host funeral services during this time.
“Families are struggling with not only the death of a loved one, but the uncertainty of how they can effectively and lovingly plan a funeral in these times, without unnecessary delay and few family and guests in attendance,” said Ryan Kozuma, Diamond Head’s General Manager. “We are honored to be able to offer a full service through this unique, forward thinking and easy to use technology platform. Our reason for being is to serve families and to ensure their wellbeing – this virtual and highly interactive platform gives families what they need most now.”
With the guidance of a funeral director, a family can plan their virtual funeral and invite those who will participate in the service, including clergy and those making eulogies. The platform allows up to 500 guests to virtually attend, communicate condolences and more. The virtual service can provide an online outlet for a wide variety of end-of-life events, including funerals, burials, wakes, shivas or memorial services.
“The ministry of consolation is very important, especially to those who suffered the loss of their loved ones. This ministry is expressed in the religious rituals and community prayers. The funeral ritual is more vital now than any time I can remember,” explained Father Victor Lanuevo. “Families are dealing with grief, trauma and the uncertainty that our COVID-19 environment is perpetuating. Families need to experience the ritual, the traditions and the formality of a service. This allows family members to be present, to participate and honor their loved one, and for their extended family and friends to be part of the ceremony. It is a thoughtful, moving and lasting tribute and life celebration.”
Diamond Head Mortuary, a part of NorthStar Memorial Group, a privately held funeral, cremation, and memorialization company, has been at the forefront of discovery for new ways to bring families together after the loss of a loved one. NorthStar partnered with Sympathy Brands to develop and introduce this platform at NorthStar’s locations across the West Coast and numerous other states. The platform was originally created and developed by eCondolence.com™ and www.shiva.com™ in response to the emerging need for interactive, online funeral and memorial experiences.
“A virtual funeral will never replace a hug that a mourner needs from family and friends, but during this time of social distancing this will allow loved ones to virtually gather to memorialize the deceased and support the mourning family,” says Michael Schimmel, CEO of Sympathy Brands, parent company to eCondolence.com and shiva.com.
These platforms also provide important educational information about religious and cultural customs, appropriate verbal and written condolence messages, suggested sympathy and commemorative gifts, and health and wellness safety measures. It allows the family to organize and communicate with their support systems about any specific funeral plans or aftercare sympathy needs such as food or contributions.
Ryan Kozuma continued, “This brings people together in ways that are so important and more timely than ever. Families need this important ritual for their loved ones and for themselves.”
For those in the Honolulu area who are interested in learning more about virtual funeral and memorial services at Diamond Head Mortuary, please contact us at (808) 735-2872.