The pandemic is changing how we say goodbye to loved ones. Families can no longer gather for more traditional services, but the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) says that doesn’t mean we can’t grieve.
"If we can remember that we can separate the physical disposition of the body from the remembrance and memorial event, not only do we free ourselves up from thinking, ‘oh we can't grieve properly unless we have the casket here, here and here,’ it can also make it more affordable and a little less stressful," said Josh Slocum, Executive Director of the FCA.
Those additional options include immediate burial or direct cremation. That's when the body is taken straight to the cemetery or crematory.
You may be able to do a virtual memorial service online. Family and friends can share through pictures or homemade crafts to honor their loved one.
You can also wait until safer times. Think of it like a spring burial, which are common in New England. Families wait until winter is over because the ground is no longer frozen.
"Do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to remember someone simply because you can't have your first choice,” said Slocum. “Second choices are second choices but they're better than no choices."
Although hot spots are experiencing a temporary spike, the FCA says funeral homes on a national level will not be overrun.