PLanning services during the pandemic
We believe that funeral/memorial services, as well as viewing of the deceased and the gathering of friends is necessary for the healthy grieving processes of each family. Therefore, to make it easier for families to make arrangements during this confusing pandemic, here are some suggestions that we have developed with the guidance that we have received by the Georgia Funeral Directors Association (GFDA) and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).
ARE MASKS REQUIRED?
Although masks are not required, they are strongly encouraged. The family of the deceased sets the tone for those attending; therefore, we suggest that they wear masks.
HOW DO WE SOCIAL DISTANCE AT A SERVICE OR VISITATION?
The bottom line is that the grieving family sets the tone for their visitors as it relates to social distancing. Visitors will be more respectful of the guidelines if the family is doing so. We understand that it is instinctual for us to want to embrace our friends during such a difficult time, and that shaking hands as a greeting is second nature, however, we suggest replacing the handshake or hug with a fist/elbow bump or a respectful nod. We should allow our words to convey our feelings more than our physical interaction.
Visitations: Most families have chosen to avoid nighttime visitations in favor of visitations before the service. This is not required, but has become the “new normal”. Some families have opted instead to have the decedent lie in state for a period of time for friends and neighbors to pay respects, even though the family is not present during this time.
Funeral/Memorial Services: We have taken the proactive approach to ribbon-off every other pew to make it easier for people to distance themselves. We have also had to change some of our traditional methods of dealing with the crowds. Please help us help the families that we serve by being respectful of guidelines and also by being sensitive to the feelings of others.
Graveside or Outdoor Services: We understand that an outdoor environment is much less likely to cause the transmittal of any germs or viruses. Therefore, these services have been selected by a growing number of families. These services are especially useful in accommodating large crowds in a safer way. Some families choose to have private family services at the funeral home and public graveside services with visitors welcomed.
HOW DO WE PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE AT THE FUNERAL HOME?
We are committed to keeping clean safe facilities. We use appropriate disinfectant and clean regularly. We also provide hand sanitizing stations and a clean place for you to wash your hands. We are always stocked with tissue to help you keep your face and nose clean. And we provide masks for visitors that may have forgotten it.