COVID-19 currently dominates headlines and preoccupies our thoughts. So, we wanted to devote a blog post to discuss ways to cope with death in the midst of COVID-19. Although people more often consider the topic of death during a pandemic, we have been working in the funeral industry since 1996. So, we spend a great deal of each day thinking about the topic. And here is what we have to share about death & COVID-19:
COVID-19 & Death
Since the proverbial jury is still out relative to whether or not one can contract COVID-19 via a dead body, our industry is taking every precaution:
- We are based in Los Angeles County, which boasts some of the strictest county guidelines. Nevertheless, Foothill Funeral & Cremation is open because we are deemed an “essential business.” After all; death never takes a holiday, even (or even especially) during a worldwide epidemic.
- We adhere to guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) regarding social distancing and personal protection. This includes the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when dealing with members of the general public, fellow staff members, clients, and visitors to our funeral showroom. These suggestions include:
- Encouraging clients to use technology to connect virtually with family and friends during the grieving process.
- Advising clients about potential modified funeral arrangements. For example, limiting attendance at funerals held during shortly after the time of death to a small number of immediate family members and friends; and then holding additional memorial services when social distancing guidelines are less restrictive.
- Practicing social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet between attendees, facility staff, and clergy or officiants when small, in-person services are held.
- Suggesting modifications to funeral rites and rituals (for example, avoid touching the deceased person’s body or personal belongings or other ceremonial objects) to make sure of everyone’s safety.
- Wearing cloth face coverings while around others.
Ways to Celebrate a Life Amidst COVID-19 (Adapted from the CDC Website Funeral Guidance)
- Connect with loved ones digitally. You could host conference calls (using software such as Zoom or Google Meetings) with family members and friends.
- Ask family and friends to share stories and pictures with you via phone, video chat, email, text message, photo sharing apps, social media, or snail-mail letters.
- Create a virtual memory book. If your family books end-of-life services through Foothill, you will be able to take advantage of our Online Tributes. Otherwise, set up a memorial blog or webpage to remember your loved one.
- Coordinate a time for family and friends to honor your loved one by reciting a selected poem, spiritual reading, or prayer from within their own households.
- Seek spiritual support from faith-based organizations, such as churches or community groups. If you are not part of a faith tradition or religious community, seek support from other trusted community leaders and friends.
- Use grief counseling services, support groups, or Many offer consultations over the phone or online. You may also wish to seek support from a mental healthcare provider.
- Read books about grief and loss. Children should read age-appropriate material and be encouraged to talk about how they are feeling.
- Mark the life of the one you lost. You could do this by planting flowers or a tree or preparing a favorite meal in memory of your loved one.
- Review additional information from CDC on loss and grief, andways to cope with stress and anxiety.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
Whether or not your death or the death of your loved one is COVID-19 related, if you so desire, we would value the opportunity to help you pre-plan for yourself or a family member or friend. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.