During the COVID pandemic and because of the sanitary measures in act, many families had to endure the added emotional pain of not being able to properly perform traditional funeral rites for their dear ones. In Mexico, the velorio, the traditional nine days wake, is especially important for bereaved families. Praying together and being close to each other, family members and friends share the burden of grief, while honouring the deceased and starting their emotional journey towards the acceptance of the passing. During the hardest moments of the pandemic, these forms of mourning were not allowed, and alternative outlets for coping had to be devised. These were often based on video-call technology (Zoom, Skype, etc), a fact that has allowed families to “be together”, while on the other it has exposed the generational and geographical diversity in the reception of such technologies. Our text is a personal recollection of the experience of losing a close relative to COVID-19 and a narration on how an average family in the Mexican province was able to perform the velorio rites through Zoom. This narration is an attempt to make sense of the impact that the pandemic has had on local communities in peripheral areas of the country, and to come to terms with the increasing importance of video-communication technology in mediating mourning and grief.
Bonilla, Daniel and Guaraldo, Emiliano
"Wireless Mourning / Luto sin cables,"
Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine: Vol. 6
, Article 8.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/survive_thrive/vol6/iss1/8