Spain brings official period of mourning to a close

Updated 5 June: Today is the last day of Spain’s official mourning for all the more than 27,000 who died or any who were affected in any way by the death of someone during the covid19 outbreak. The ten-day luto oficial has been the longest ever in the history of Spain’s democracy, and King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia have led the final day’s memorial with a minute’s silence. Spain’s grief will take much longer to heal, of course, but this national ceremonialization of mourning is official recognition of the pain that has been suffered by tens of thousand at an individual level throughout the country.

Original post 27 May: From today, Spain begins the longest period of official mourning in its democratic history: ten days in honour of all those, nearly 27,000, whose lives were taken by covid19. While the luto oficial lasts, official buildings will fly their flags at half-mast, and many will be draped in black crepe. To bring it to a close, King Felipe VI will lead a ceremonial honouring of all the victims of the virus.

Many victims will have died alone, been buried alone and without ceremony, without the ritual that we all need to begin to process our loss, a ritual as much if not more for the living than the dead. This period of official mourning will represent the public’s funeral rites for their losses, of loved ones, but also of freedoms, and of peace of mind. It will give a chance to reflect, to grieve, and to come to terms with what is said to be a new normality, a way of life we will have to become familiar with, and adapt to.


  1. Janet, let’s not forget to mourn those non-covid deaths, such as the one suffered by my wife, who was cremated the day after her death without ceremony. I am still waiting to return her ashes to the UK, so that her family and friends can get some closure. Alan

    1. Author

      Absolutely, Alan. It’s a chance to remember everyone affected in some way by this, and you and your wife are most definitely included in the homage Spain is paying.

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