Lisa Kudrow Felt Like a "Monster" for Not Allowing Mourners to Hug at Her Mother's Funeral

Lisa Kudrow reveals the "hard" decision she made to not hug mourners at the her mother's funeral in the days before the coronavirus pandemic began

By Cydney Contreras May 18, 2020 9:28 PMTags
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Lisa Kudrow is revealing what it's like to mourn a loved one during a pandemic.

The Friends star's mother died in February just as the new COVID-19 virus began to spread and, though the coronavirus had yet to be declared a worldwide pandemic, the actress tells The Hollywood Reporter that she still felt a duty to prevent the spread of the illness. In fact, she felt so strongly about this, she requested that nobody hug at the funeral services. 

"I was the one who asked the rabbi to please let everyone know there was to be no hugging because we were all in an emergency room with her," she recalls. "That was the hardest decision because we weren't there yet and we had only just heard the words 'social distancing.' I'm a freak and all I could think that whole day was there has to be coronavirus here." She adds that "some" of the attendees were understanding of her desire to limit contact, while others weren't.

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"Most people were just looking at me like I was a monster when I'd take two steps back, put up my hands and say, 'Hi, thanks for coming,'" Lisa reveals. This was made more difficult by the fact that "everyone" else was hugging, making the star the odd man out. 

But Lisa says she was determined to continue social distancing, because she knew she "couldn't bear it if I got someone sick." 

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She thinks that she might've had a "really mild" case of COVID-19 as she briefly experienced a "mild fever" and other cold symptoms. On the other hand, she acknowledges that she could've just been "drained" too.

Months have since passed and to this day, Lisa says she doesn't know if she had the virus and doesn't feel like she "needs" a test when others need it more.

In general, the 56-year-old says she feels lucky in many ways, especially since she was able to give her mother a funeral service that others have not been afforded during this time.

And she shares that she has a greater understanding of what health care workers are going through, not just in the hospital, but in regards to their lives at home. Kudrow shares, "That's the stuff that breaks my heart, too, when I see parents, especially in the health care field, who come home from work and are like, 'Hi, remember, we have to stay away from mommy.' How is a 3-year-old supposed to understand that?"

As for her plans post-coronavirus, the actress looks forward to participating in the Friends reunion and finish shooting her NBC show Who Do You Think You Are? More importantly she says she can't wait "to go see my father in person and give him a hug."

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at