Funerals are being postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schoening Funeral Service general manager Sara Lawson said last week “was tough.”
Services — including four scheduled for this past weekend — were postponed as the province announced a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
The funeral home will later provide a service at no extra cost.
“Originally, they had planned gatherings of larger than 50,” Lawson said of the postponements. “At this time, though, the families we’re meeting with are all respecting the no gatherings over 50 and we are strongly encouraging to not have gatherings of really any significant size at this point.”
Lawson said viewings, cremations and small burials are still possible and continue. However, celebrations of life and gatherings are being discouraged at the advice of medical health experts. Asked how families are coping with the news they cannot celebrate the loss of a loved one, Lawson said they’re doing “really well.” Though last week was difficult, she said most people understand the need to postpone.
“I think like anyone in the world right now, we’re not quite sure what’s coming tomorrow and what new boundaries will be placed on our day-to-day lives, so they are understanding,” Lawson said. “We are accommodating everyone as best we can and helping through this stressful time.”
Lawson advised anyone dealing with the death of a loved one during the pandemic to seek advice from funeral home staff.
“We’re just navigating this like the rest of the world,” she said. “These are challenging times, like we’ve never dealt with before.”