Funerals are difficult for families and friends at the best of times, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new element of stress to already challenging situations.
So many businesses and service providers are facing unique challenges at this time, and funeral homes are among those having to adapt on a daily basis; sometimes hour by hour.
At Vankleek Hill’s Hillcrest Funeral Home, for example, there are currently no public visitations or public funerals.
“We are limited at this time as many churches and halls are understandably closed in our community. We know how important it is for families to grieve and to gather together when facing a loss and the situation that we are facing right now only compounds these feelings, but we are working with families to find the best way forward,” said Lisa Henderson, of Hillcrest Funeral Home.
“If a family wishes to have a private small gathering or service at the funeral home, that is something we offer at this time. We have signs posted at the entrance of the funeral home asking individuals not to enter if they have travelled outside of the country during the last two weeks or if they have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing,” she added.
“At this time it is extremely important to protect the families who come to the funeral home and we also have to protect the funeral director and our staff from becoming ill; as for most small businesses, key people are difficult to replace. We are doing as much as we can to continue offering our services as usual,” Henderson said.
The situation is constantly being re-evaluated and changes will be made as needed, she ended.