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Preplanning a Funeral During a Pandemic

January 1, 2021

The COVID-19 emergency has proven the value of advance planning during a pandemic. Through the use of technology, pre-planning a funeral during a pandemic is a safe way to protect one’s family from the emotional and financial burden of having to make funeral arrangements after someone has died.

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The number one reason people plan in advance for a funeral is peace of mind. The public health crisis has made a time that is normally stressful for most people even more overwhelming, especially for those without a plan in place.

“Our team found that the families of those who died during the pandemic with their advance planning in place had a much easier transition than those who did not. Because all of the decisions were made in advance, it was easy for us to adapt it to fit the restrictions and allow families to focus on the most important parts of any funeral—the personal and meaningful elements that bring solace and healing,” said Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning.

Advance Planning During a Pandemic

Advance planning seems to have become even more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our families who had a death with the advance planning in place were relieved to find how much easier it was for them to navigate the restrictions of COVID-19. We merely modified the ceremonies they had planned to comply with the restrictions. In contrast, many people were unaware that we were able to offer complete ceremonies even with the restrictions and felt overwhelmed with all of the decisions they had to make at a time that would have been stressful under normal conditions.

As the pandemic has surged, we have seen an increase in the number of people inquiring about advance planning. In fact, four members of one family we cared for during the pandemic have already done their own advance planning after seeing how valuable it was when their mom died.

The single greatest difference for our team and the families we have served during this time has been in the use of technology. By livestreaming ceremonies, offering videoconferencing and electronic document signing we have been able to offer families safe opportunities for them to navigate the entire process, including advance planning. With the help of technology, advance planning can be done safely and securely, even with COVID-19 restrictions and necessary safety measures in place.

One of the most remarkable outcomes of serving families during the pandemic was realizing how considerably people rely on ritual at significant moments in life. Not only when families have had a death, but we also witnessed and experienced the emptiness of being without public graduations, weddings and religious ceremonies. “This really reinforced our belief as funeral directors that rituals and gatherings are a huge part of the human experience,” said Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning.

For more information on advance planning during a pandemic, please contact Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning at Keohane Funeral Homes at (617) 773-3551.

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