How to Navigate Planning Funeral Services in a time of Fear and Social Distancing
New York – April 6, 2020 – As the death toll spikes around the globe from the COVID-19, much of the world’s focus has been on fighting the epidemic, saving lives and keeping people healthy and safe. But what isn’t being talked about is what happens after someone dies, and how grieving families can say goodbye to their loved ones at a time of social distancing, fear and panic. Funeralocity.com, the nation’s only up-to-date price comparison website of funeral providers, is sharing helpful advice and insights into planning a service during such an uncertain time. Its database of 19,000 funeral homes across the US is the largest database in the world, and the site is using that institutional knowledge and expertise to guide families faced with the sudden need to bury or cremate someone who has died from the virus.
“Losing a loved one is the worst possible outcome, but it’s become a sad reality during this unprecedented time,” said Ed Michael Reggie, founder and CEO of Funeralocity.com. “The deaths that have already occurred, and the models that are preparing us for more, have put a great demand for funeral services. However, there are so many circumstances unique to this time and virus and people need to know how to navigate the process. Funeralocity.com prides itself in providing users the most reliable, trusted information when planning services, and we are sharing what we know with families so they can make better informed decisions.”
The important first step, says Reggie, is finding the right funeral home or cremation provider. Then the planning of a service can take place. Funeral directors are licensed by states to deal with issues related to handling the bodies after death, and whether it’s being stored, embalmed, cremated or prepared for burial.
“Unfortunately, there is greater demand for this now, which is making the process more complicated,” Reggie said. “Some funeral homes and morgues are at capacity, which has put major stress on the business.”
Reggie suggests people research funeral homes and cremation providers in their areas and discuss their needs and circumstances. He created Funeralocity.com for this exact purpose: the site not only includes prices and locations for US funeral homes, but it can connect users to their them.
“Families at a time of loss are deep in shock and grief and having then to find a funeral home can be very stressful,” Reggie said. “We launched Funeralocity.com to make that process easier.”
Another important decision has already been made, sadly: States across the country are restricting public gatherings to less than 10 people, which makes having a traditional ceremony near impossible. This has made virtual funerals more prevalent, and also persuaded people to postpone services until entire families can mourn together safely.
“We need to balance our need to grieve with public safety in mind,” Reggie said. “There have already been reports of people spreading the coronavirus at funeral services. We need to be responsible, and fortunately there are options. Streaming a service is a practical and safe way to say goodbye to a loved one with your whole family participating.”
Many funeral homes are offering this option, but the quality will vary and will depend on which platform/ service the funeral home is using.
Using social media is also an option that families should consider. Postings on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms allow people to express condolences without gathering in person. Mourners can post photos, videos and memories, creating more intimate remembrances that people can see from their homes.
There are also numerous platforms that can create memorial websites, virtual photos albums and memory books that memorialize those who have passed digitally, allowing families to share.
Finally, Reggie suggests people consider donating to causes related to the COVID-19 instead of sending flowers, wreaths or food to grieving families.Back to Media Center