Funeral homes following crowd control restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak

Few things bring people together like death, .but what happens now in the midst of a pandemic?

“Funerals in the last couple of weeks have changed dramatically,” said Baldwin-Fairchild Oaklawn Chapel general manager Katie Gordon.

In the last few weeks, Gordon says Oaklawn Chapel in Sanford has offered everything from livestreaming funeral services to burying or cremating with immediate family and scheduling larger memorials for later.

“It’s so important that we’re honoring our loved ones. That something that doesn’t go away, so we are making sure that our families have every option.”

As funeral homes learn to adapt to what’s happening in the world around us, they say families are having a hard time as they continue to grieve but ultimately these different options are better for their health and safety.

“Our families, this is such a different time. They aren’t able to have that physical contact,” said Gordon.

At a time of loss, people want to hug and come together. But inside the chapel and out at the cemetery, all gatherings have to stay within Centers for Disease Control guidelines of fewer than 10 people.

Gordon says more people are calling their compassion helpline for grief counseling. She also says more families are opting for small burials and planning celebrations of life further down the road.

One thing she’s been telling families is “the silver lining in all of this is that we have time plan a really exceptional celebration of life.”