How should we mourn when coronavirus keeps us apart?
Gathering together to mark the passing of loved ones is critical to our emotional wellbeing. Could remote mourning be enough?
Paula Bronstein sat in the cemetery in a rented Ford Fusion, listening to the rabbi and taking pictures out her window. Her family members, in three cars behind her, followed the rabbi’s words on a conference call.
Bronstein, a photojournalist, had flown in from Thailand, knowing it might be the last time she’d see her father. George Bronstein had been born during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Now 101, he was dying of natural causes, and she had been prepared to say goodbye—but not for a pandemic to come between them.
Upon her arrival in the United States, she’d self-quarantined because of the novel coronavirus, and could not see her dad in person. By the time he died, on March 30,