Funerals during a pandemic
It looks as though the virus will have big implications for how we have funerals in the coming months. Some countries are banning funerals in the same way they are banning gatherings, and insist on direct cremations with no service. Certain measures are being put in place here by some of the crematoria themselves, e.g. only solid coffins, not willow, woven or cardboard coffins for all funerals; no bearers with coffins brought in on trolleys.
If larger funerals or all crematorium funerals are banned, denying families the opportunity for a funeral and the chance to say goodbye, what can be done? We have a couple of ideas to help.
Choose a natural burial and have a service outside for a few people, just close family. There are natural burial sites at Rattery (Bidwell Woodland), Totnes (Sharpham Meadow), Yealmpton Woodland, Cheriton Bishop (Crossways), Aveton Gifford (South Hams), Beer Cross (Sampford Courtenay).
At the moment for our clients we are happy to host a service for close family (subject to being satisfied the risk is low) prior to cremation at our beautiful ceremony hall by the River Dart at Buckfastleigh. The building has easy parking, is separate from other buildings and we have a good hygiene regime to make it as safe as possible. We think this is safer than going to the crematorium.
Also we are able to meet with families via Zoom / Skype to make the funeral arrangements especially where there are elderly family members who are self-isolating, so they are not excluded.