Sanlam launches The Memory Collection for Covid-19 deaths
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CAPE TOWN - To help South Africans to celebrate loved ones’ lives during the Covid-19 lockdown, life assurance and financial services group Sanlam has launched The Memory Collection – an online platform to memorialise individuals in an innovative and lasting way.
With regulations restricting inter-provincial travel, funeral capacity and physical contact between family members, people are turning to digital tools to do virtual grieving.
That’s what the Memory Collection is all about.
Sanlam Developing Markets marketing manager Jabulile Smith said they prioritised paying out most funeral claims in four hours, so families could focus on celebrating a person’s memory.
“Even though we cannot be together, we can feel connected by the memories we share. That was the inspiration for the Memory Collection; a new way for South Africans to honour those who have passed. Globally, we’re witnessing ongoing innovation in the funeral planning and grieving space, as we all seek opportunities to support each other in a time of social distancing,” said Smith.
The digital platform will allow people to upload photos and share stories of their departed loved ones. These will then be added to the Memory Collection that can be accessed online as a space for those who are gone but never forgotten.
There are psychologically good reasons to grieve properly.
Forbes reports that not having the right bereavement rituals, support and processes in place could leave grievers at risk of prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and complicated grief (CG), which is characterised by preoccupying, persistent symptoms, and affects 10-20 percent of mourners in normal times.
“Grief is already an isolating process. With the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before to find real ways to reach out,” said Smith.
The inter-provincial travel restrictions and 50-person attendance limit had caused considerable distress, with many families also unable to afford the expense of transporting the departed home.
The corpse was now required to be transported separately with a certified undertaker. This requires at least two vehicles to be hired.
Add to this the time pressure of burying a Covid-19 victim within three to seven days to comply with national regulations, and many are no longer able to take their departed home to rest.
“This has prompted an even stronger need for virtual grieving alternatives that bring families together irrespective of geographical confines. These cannot replace age-old customs, but they can bring some comfort, perhaps,” said Smith,
Many funerals are now being live-streamed. Memorials are also being held online.