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What We Learned by Serving Families During COVID-19

June 1, 2020

One of the most important things we learned by serving families at this time is that the COVID-19 crisis has proven the value of advance planning and the importance of funeral rituals. Our team did amazing work caring for families during this time by providing safe and meaningful adaptations to the rituals that we rely on. 

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The single greatest difference for our team and the families we have served during this time has been in the use of technology. By livestreaming ceremonies, offering videoconferencing and electronic document signing we have been able to offer families safe opportunities for them to navigate the entire process and invite others to join with them even though they could not be present in person.

“The most remarkable outcome of serving families during this time was seeing how much people rely on ritual at significant moments in life. While we obviously saw this when caring for families who have had a death, we also witnessed and experienced the emptiness of being without public graduations, weddings and religious ceremonies. This really reinforced our belief as funeral directors that rituals and gatherings are a huge part of the human experience,” said Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning.

Advance Planning During COVID-19

Advance planning seems to have become even more important in light of the pandemic. The families who had a death with the advance planning in place were relieved to find how much easier it was for them to navigate the restrictions of COVID-19. We merely modified the ceremonies they had planned to comply with the restrictions. In contrast, many people were unaware that we were able to offer complete ceremonies even with the restrictions and felt overwhelmed with all of the decisions they had to make at a time that would have been stressful under normal conditions.

As the restrictions have lifted, we have seen an increase in the number of people inquiring about advance planning. In fact, four members of one family we cared for during the pandemic have already done their own advance planning after seeing how valuable it was when their mom died.

With the help of technology, advance planning can be done safely and securely, even with COVID-19 restrictions and necessary safety measures in place.

For more information on advance planning during COVID-19, please contact Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning at Keohane Funeral Homes at (617) 773-3551.


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