MONTREAL -- A group in Montreal took Thursday to offer a space for people looking for closure after losing a loved one during the COVID-19 crisis.

In an outdoor ceremony in the Petite-Patrie neighbourhood, survivors gathered to honour those who died due to the novel coronavirus or during the pandemic.

"There's a lot of people who died of the COVID but sometimes of other things," said organizer Isabelle Couillard. "And because it was confinement times, we were not allowed to see each other or have a ritual."

Annie Antoine lost her uncle Daniel to COVID-19 in June. He died in Haiti.

"That's why I'm here today, just to let him go," she said. "I couldn't make it to the funeral. That was like the hardest thing."

Others came in solidarity or for the chance to be with others again.

"(I came) just to bring support for other people, people who have been through very severe or difficult times," said Celine Landry.

People sang songs, and let each other know that they were not alone in their tragedy.

"How beautiful it was, hearing people sing, and to think that we're not alone in this situation," said Antoine.

The group is planning a similar event soon in neighbouring Rosemont.