COVID-19: How it affects Planning a Funeral

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the ways in which we all live, work, and gather. Sadly, memorial services are affected as well. The limits on public gathering have changed the services we can offer at this time. We’ve had to balance two priorities: offering a memorial service befitting your loved one, and making sure the public stays strong and healthy through this challenging time. In light of this, here are some of the changes we’ve made.

You can still get in contact with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach us by phone, online, or in person. There are limits to how many people can be in our Winnipeg funeral home at any one time, so we’ve arranged for a conference call system. Should you wish to discuss funeral arrangements with your family present, we can do so over the phone. We can record the conversation and pass the recordings onto any relevant parties, should you desire.

At this time, we can only hold private funerals; these events must have nine or fewer attendees, due to the ten-person public gathering limit set by the Government of Manitoba.

To accomodate for larger services, we’ve arranged for two types of virtual service. The first is a live stream of the funeral. A private link to a secure website will be given to you. You can distribute it to friends and family members. We can also arrange for a recording of the funeral service. We can also arrange to do both, so some people can attend the live stream, while others can watch the recording.

We will not be hosting receptions at this time - this is again due to the limitations on public gatherings. Consider hosting a virtual reception using FaceTime, Skype, or other video chat tools.

We know that these accommodations won’t suit everyone. The desire for a large memorial service and reception is completely understandable. We’re also committed to keeping our funeral services affordable - we believe everyone deserves a proper remembrance of their life, regardless of financial circumstances. When your loved one has been embalmed or cremated, we will continue to shelter them at no charge should you wish to defer the memorial service with us. As soon as public health officials say it’s safe, we’ll work with you to reschedule the service.

For our part, we’ve been diligently following sanitation recommendations from public health officials. The nature of our work means sanitation has always been at the forefront of our minds, but we’re being especially thorough with frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs and desks.

Uncertainty and rapid change are hallmarks of this pandemic. We are here for you. You can call us anytime, day or night. No matter what your question or concern is, we’re here to help. Take care of yourself. Reach out to friends and family. Though at this time we must be physically distant, we can still be close. Spiritually. Emotionally. We’ll get through this together.

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