MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020

Opt for Precaution

Here are several options that we, at the Floyd A. Williams Funeral Home, have currently employed to make it safer for you and your family to mourn and grieve at a time when communities worldwide, are being encouraged NOT to engage in unnecessary close contact.

We are working to defeat the odds by instilling new business practices and precautions that still allow you to give reverence to your loved one. Additionally we want you to have an opportunity to embrace the love and support of all that hold and cherish them in their hearts.

Here are some of the steps, we are taking to adapt:

1. As much as possible, we would like to keep services within our LEGACY CHAPEL at the funeral home.

2. We have temporarily moved all services to a Private status. With the severity of the risk that we have been witnessing, we are not will to expose you and your family members to the public support unless it is from a distance beyond 6 feet.

3. We will not be allowing immediate family members to conduct any receiving lines during visitation hours. Therefore we ask that you arrive at the service 30mins prior to service. 

4. An Attendance List is required for all wakes and funeral services. The family is responsible to provide their funeral director with this list at least 1day prior to the service.

5. We ask that you respect the social distancing orders mandated by the States of Massachusetts & the City of Boston, this is to not interrupt or impede our ability to celebrate and bring reverence to a life well lived.

6. All Attendees must stay within their cars until the funeral director releases them to approach graveside.

We ask that you respect the policies in put in place to not interrupt or impede our ability to celebrate and bring reverence to a life well lived. 

Livestream Funerals So People Can Attend Remotely

One option available to our families is streaming live video of the funeral online. This is a flexible solution that allows you to have minimal people at the funeral service in person, while other people participate from home.
This service has been around since well before anyone ever heard of COVID-19, but it will surely be increasingly useful. This service seems to put some peace to the hearts of anyone that can not attend in person, whether it is due to  being under quarantine, your health puts you at high risk, your discomfort or your current ability to travel. 

Live chat can be included for anyone who may not have a webcam at home but still wants to be actively involved in the funeral service. Multimedia offerings can be provided to remote attendees, including the funeral program, written obituary, family photos and videos.

Opt for Outdoor Locations
As the season is changing, we can have more graveside events, so you’re not confined in a building, but you’re outside, where it’s a little bit less contact.
You can take this idea beyond the graveside, as well. If you want to hold a memorial service with no body present, the sky’s the limit for where you can have that service. A public park, outdoor worship area at your church, or beach could be the perfect location for a memorial service offering a less confined experience.
The larger the outdoor area you choose, the easier it is for attendees to avoid close contact. Some experts are recommending that you stay at least six feet apart from others to ensure you’re not affected by a cough or sneeze, we will be abiding by this guideline. Larger outdoor gathering areas will make this easier to achieve.

Postpone Services Until Later
For some of our families, the right decision will be to plan a memorial service for a later date. You can do this whether you plan to have the body cremated or buried. If you’re planning on burial, you might choose to have a small graveside service at the time of burial, with just your closest family members in attendance. Then you can plan a larger public memorial service for later, when it’s safer to gather publicly.

For a cremation, you can have a private gathering with immediate family members within the governors guidelines but at the crematorium or funeral home, or you can skip that step and simply plan for a later memorial service. You might like to have the remains displayed in an urn at the service.

- When should you plan the service for?
At this point, it’s hard to say. Scientists say it’s too early to know whether the spread of coronavirus will subside like flu in the warmer months of the year. You might consider tentatively planning memorial services for a summer date, while remaining flexible regarding rescheduling if we get near that date and public gatherings still don’t seem like a good idea. Or you might just let family and friends know that there will be a memorial service at a date to be determined, then play it by ear as the situation develops.

Keep Contact To A Minimum
To help keep the spread of the virus to a minimum, we encourage funeral attendees to express their love and sympathy without any physical touching.
Thus we are asking families to add to their Program or Service Announcements, that it is their wish that all designated attendees “refrain from hugging, kissing and shaking hands during the ceremonies. A simple smile and nod of expressed sympathy will be all that is required.”
It’s a great way to set expectations for the funeral so no one needs to feel awkward if they prefer to avoid a kiss or handshake.

Don’t Skip The Funeral Entirely
Whichever approach seems best for your family, experts on grief and mourning say that it’s important for the surviving loved ones to hold some sort of grieving ritual, rather than avoiding a funeral completely. A memorial of some sort is crucial to helping survivors transition into the next chapter of their life without their loved one. Funeral Services have been known to be the first step in the grieving process.
The gathering is really the important part about the funeral ceremony, because you feel the support of your community around you. Whether it’s large or small, families need to feel supported by their communities. That support can come through crystal clear via a remote connection, since in-person gatherings are prohibited. And if postponing the memorial service is your choice, the support will be waiting for you when it’s time to gather. But we ask that those that would like to support, take the time to think out of the box and find ways to communicate your love and support.
People go to funerals clearly in pain, and as they go through the process of congregating with loved ones, and share stories and religion as appropriate, they come out the other end transformed. They move from crying to laughing about good times and being given permission to celebrate those good times.

Whatever solution feels right for your family, know that we are here & want to help you make it happen. There are ways to give reverence and still make these times meaningful. We will not allow a virus to take your RITES away.

Blessings to All