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Funeral homes turn to live-streamed services as a way for families to grieve their loved ones

Funerals adjust to a new normal during the pandemic
Posted at 12:03 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 19:31:48-04

CLEVELAND — The pandemic has impacted just about everything we do and how we do it and that includes the way we grieve.

For generational-family run funeral homes, like E.F. Boyd & Son, they’ve weathered plenty of storms.

“We’ve served thousands of people in the Greater Cleveland area,” said Marcella Boyd-Cox, the vice president of the funeral home. “We were even around before the previous pandemic. We made it through so, hopefully, we sustain.”

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

E.F. Boyd & Son is still offering all of its same services it did before the pandemic, including cremation, memorials, and services with an open and closed casket.

“Yes, COVID has impacted our business, but it's so important for people to have the opportunity to still come together in a limited fashion,” said Boyd-Cox.

She said the business is following Gov. Mike DeWine's and CDC orders by doing viewings on a much smaller scale, maintaining a distance between every chair, masks mandated and frequent cleaning.

But, of course, even with those precautions in place, some people can’t come to pay their respects to their loved one in-person. Boyd-Cox said that is why the home has started to offer live-streamed services.

“The live streaming has made people more comfortable. They can still be a part of the service,” she said.

“Even though services may not be held at our funeral home, sometimes they're held off-site, at a gravesite, or a church that doesn't necessarily do streaming, there are apps out there available where people can still live stream a service.”

She said no matter how the service happens or what changes, one thing that will always stay the same is the basic, human need to grieve and say goodbye.

“We are just here to serve the public the best we can,” she said.

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