Funeral Services Strictly Limited Number of Allowed Attendees

Ten people are attending a funeral service due to pandemic restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on the funeral service industry, forcing people to mourn their loved ones in isolation and make do with video calls instead of gathering in person. Across the country, each state and sometimes county and city enacted different restrictions to help contain the spread of the virus. Most places also mandated social distancing protocols such as wearing masks and always maintaining six feet of distance between individuals. Some states went so far as to prohibit singing at funerals.

Take New York State as an example: Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order back in March 2020 that limited funerals to no more than 50 mourners while imposing strict social distancing measures such as six feet between attendees and mandatory face masks. In addition, churches were required to livestream any service that exceeded that number of attendees for families who could not attend physically to still be able to pay their respects remotely. Iowa, as well as many other states, limited funerals to 10 people or less with social distancing measures enforced. Meanwhile, Texas allowed up to 100 guests with similar safety protocols encouraged but not mandated.

The attendance limitation was the most devastating aspect for those who experienced the loss of a loved one during the pandemic. The reality that there couldn’t be a large service with extended family and friends to lend their support was especially disheartening. Services that would normally bring dozens or even hundreds of individuals together to pay tribute to a beloved individual were limited to an incredibly small number. It weighed heavy on those who were mourning during these times of uncertainty and distress.

The purpose of the memorial service is to honor and remember the deceased while offering comfort and solace to those in grief. Since the beginning of humanity, the way we put our deceased to rest is very important to the survivors. With such few people present, ceremonies were still conducted in meaningful ways, but it really robbed the surviving friends and family of part of the grieving process. That part of the person’s lifetime is always going to feel weird or unnatural, and that is just so unfortunate.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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