Hospitals have seen a significant number of COVID related deaths, and funeral homes are adapting to a new way of comforting the families. At Friedel, Williams & Edmunds, Funeral Director Jim Friedel is scheduling appointments by phone or through zoom conferencing. It’s not the personal touch he’s used to, but it’s all to keep families safe.
"We are seeing probably double the families that we normally have served over the last 2 months. (All COVID you believe?) Not necessarily all COVID, no. I would say it’s probably 50-65% COVID."
Funeral Homes are still limited to 33% capacity, so many families are requesting live video services. Those attending in person must maintain 6 feet of social distance, but all that social distancing is changing the way people grieve.
"The reason we have visitation and the calling hours and the funerals is for that public acceptance of the individual passing away, and by having those it allows people to embrace and share those stories and those memories of the individual where we’re not able to have those in the face-to-face way that we’ve normally had them."
That lack of face-to-face contact is lowering calling hours, and private services are up, making it more difficult for those left behind to properly grieve.
"I think people are struggling, and I think people are struggling just in life in general, but the grieving process I think is just that much more difficult with everything that’s going on."