Celebrations of Life During the Pandemic

Please know that honoring your loved one’s life is our key concern and making certain you feel like those attending get to know your loved one and have a good sense of why they were and why they were so special is what we want for you. We want you happy at the end and people to leave the Celebration of Life saying that was wonderful and inspiring, hope mine is as good.

The rules are in  constant flux so be sure you work with your Celebration of Life director to be sure  you are aware of how many people can attend, if you can only do outside venues or inside and if everyone needs to mask up or not and how many can attend. In the last few months here in Kansas, it has bounced from 10 to 30 to 50.  Know that either Toni or I will work to meet your needs in keeping with whatever the rules may be.

We have done Zoom Celebrations of Life, graveside only or part funeral home and part graveside. We have also done graveside immediately and then later done the funeral home service portion.  We are nothing if not flexible.

Either of us can interview you and your family in person, via Facetime or Zoom. Personally, I still love getting to see you while we chat so I can get to know you better. Given our ages, both Toni and I appreciate everyone being masked if we are meeting in person.

Zoom Celebrations of Life DO work.  We have both attended them as well as facilitated them via Zoom. We have also had family members Facetime us as we speak at graveside services out to those who cannot attend. Either of us are happy to do whatever works so your family can participate as best as they can given what is happening now. Both Toni and I will work hard to make the celebration of life work well for your loved one.

If you have a request, feel free to ask and we can see if we can make it happen.

In planning your loved one’s Celebration of Life, the CDC recommends:

Lowest risk: Virtual-only services and gatherings.

Lower risk: Smaller outdoor, in-person services and gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).

Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person services and gatherings, either indoors or outdoors, adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, with some individuals wearing face masks and with some attendees coming from outside the local area. Sharing of items or objects is limited.

Highest risk: Large in-person services and gatherings held indoors and where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart; many attendees travel from outside the local area. Few individuals wear masks and objects are shared.

In some situations, many people have become sick with COVID-19 after attending a service. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in communities, changes need to be made to the way funerals, visitations, and memorials to the deceased are held. This guidance provides strategies to protect yourself and others when you are grieving the loss of a loved one, supporting each other, making Celebration of Life arrangements, and participating in services and visitations. Some examples include:

  • Using technology to connect virtually with family and friends during the grieving process.
  • Considering modified arrangements, such as limiting attendance in person held during shortly after the time of death to a small number of immediate family members and friends; and then holding additional memorial services when social distancing guidelines are less restrictive.
  • Practicing social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet between attendees, facility staff, and clergy or officiants when small, in-person services are held.
  • Considering modifications to funeral rites and rituals (for example, avoid touching the deceased person’s body or personal belongings or other ceremonial objects) to make sure of everyone’s safety.
  • Wearing masks while around others and outside of your home.
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