As I attended a close friend’s funeral a month or so ago, I noticed that there did not seem to be many changes in place at this service. Now, as a funeral director, I am abreast of all that CDC posts and mandates that were given initially about funerals and visitations. I also know that CDC’s current recommendations include “COVID-19 does not need to affect whether the funeral takes place through burial or cremation. Wishes of your deceased loved one should continue to be honored.” Those recommendations also go into some detail about observing social distancing while at a funeral, wearing masks, washing hands, not touching multiple surfaces or hugging people if possible.
I also know, many of my peers that have seen many changes with this virus, and how they care for families which is heartbreaking. I sold my funeral home business, and don’t physically go into the building to take care of my families anymore, I remotely work for them and go to them but this pandemic has shaken everyone. One facet of funeral directing; one we all hold dear is to walk with our families and care for them through one of the worst possible times imaginable. This is hard, when families are begging to have large funeral services (hundreds in the same building in a day or two) when restrictions and guidelines vary not only state to state but city to city all over the United States. I encourage my grieving families to remember this, when your trusted Funeral Director cannot meet every need you may have in the middle of your grief. I assure you, we want to answer all questions, fix any problems that arise and settle any fears; but that can be really difficult with new information daily, guidelines changing constantly and a general feeling of unrest settled into most Americans at present.
-Hire a Funeral Consultant or trusted professional and pre-plan
-Remember you can speak remotely to these professionals and even plan parts of the service this way; adding personal photos or memorials for a loved one in this digital world we live in.
-Adhere to guidelines for this pandemic in as much that makes you comfortable and allows you to grieve for your loved ones
I promise you, that is all a truly called Funeral Director/professional wants to do…still help you in this unsure time.