Funeral Industry Adjusting To Social Distance Recommendations

Challenges of providing closure exist as memorial services try to identify ways to allow families to grieve, despite group gathering restrictions.

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On Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont said he’d like groups restricted to five people or fewer. Funeral homes and cemeteries are now trying to find ways to abide by the governor’s recommendations. So, trying to memorialize those who’ve died has become more difficult than ever.

“Our job is to make it the best day ever on the worst day of their lives and now it’s becoming more cumbersome,” said Maria Librio.

Librio runs Rose Hill Memorial Park, a funeral home and private cemetery in Rocky Hill. Like others in the funeral industry, she’s trying to provide appropriate services while adhering to the governor’s five-person group limitations. She said it is challenging.

“I need six paul bearers. I need clergy,” she said. “I’m well over the max and I haven’t included my staff or a single family member.”

Rose Hill is looking at many options, as are those across the industry. All trying to continue providing proper memorial services.

“Right now coronavirus is preventing us from doing that in the traditional sense,” said Frank Carmon, owner of Carmon Community Funeral Homes in Windsor.

Carmon is one memorial service adapting. For 15 years they’ve been offering video streaming service and are again using technology to bring families together.

“We’re offering free webcasting of all of our services,” added Carmon. “Whether they’re at our funeral home or place of worship or even at the cemetery.”

Amidst this trying time the goal remains, providing grieving family members and friends an opportunity to say goodbye.

“Closure is a really important aspect of this industry and you need to have it,” said Librio.

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