Funeral Directors Finding Workarounds During Pandemic

Rob Hart
April 03, 2020 - 6:13 pm

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Federal guidelines that limit large gatherings also limits end-of-life traditions like visitations, funerals, and graveside services.

Funeral homes are working to adapt to the new normal.  Joyce Symonds of the Symonds-Madison Funeral Home in Elgin said some mourners are opting hold a small service that is streamed to family and friends around the country.

Other mourners are choosing to delay visitation services by several months.  

Symonds says this is a historical precedent that dates back to the Civil War.

"The earliest use of embalming in our country was during the Civil War. That was when families of Northern soldiers wanted to ensure that they were buried at home. And it took a substantial amount of time, several months, for bodies to make their way back to their home town," she explained.

Symonds believes virtual, live-streamed visitations may become the new normal after the COVID-19 crisis ends.

Even though she believes mourners need the personal connection of being in the presence of fellow mourners, she adds the funeral industry will adapt.