Funeral home adjusts to new restrictions
By Wesley Gardner
Local funeral homes have been among the many businesses affected by restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
According to Bryan DeLeon, manager of DeLeon Funeral Home in Lockhart, social distancing restrictions have caused him to dramatically alter the way the funeral home provides visitation and funeral services.
Funeral homes are currently allowed to have ten people in the building or at graveside services, and social distancing guidelines must be followed.
“It just breaks your heart that [visitors] are not able to come in and share their condolences with the family,” said DeLeon. “A lot of the times, they’ll have a small story or anecdote that they’ll share with the family that helps a little bit with the grieving process.
“I think a really big part of grieving is being able to come together and experience that loss together and find out how much your family member meant to a large number of people.”
DeLeon said some of families he’s worked with have been emulate the experience by having loved ones send in recorded anecdotes or live stream them during visitations.
“Facebook has been good with being able to do live streams,” DeLeon said. “It touches the people that are most important, which is their friends.
“That’s really been helpful.”
DeLeon said another family staggered viewing periods during the visitation to allow as many loved as possible to be able to safely attend and grieve. DeLeon noted this was made possible because a family member took the responsibility of determining who could come and when.
“She took that responsibility upon herself, which was helpful to us because it’s very difficult for us to tell a family member ‘you’re not family enough,’ so to speak,” said DeLeon. “She had that latitude that we simply did not have.”
DeLeon said all of the families he’s worked with while dealing with these restrictions have been understanding, noting none of them have asked to reschedule services to this point.
“The families understand, and they’ve adapted the best they can, just like we have,” said DeLeon. “Most people understand.”