DIFFICULT: Families saying goodbye to loved ones are restricted to 10 people at funerals due to social distancing restrictions. (Photo: FILE)
DIFFICULT: Families saying goodbye to loved ones are restricted to 10 people at funerals due to social distancing restrictions. (Photo: FILE)

Simple gestures of support off limits at funerals

CURRENT social distancing measures mean families saying goodbye to loved ones are missing out on an important part of the grieving process -a touch of support.

Funeral industry restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, which limit the number of people at a service to 10, are impacting the way families mourn.

Services are still going ahead in the South Burnett with Generation Funerals Kingaroy having to adapt to the ever-changing restrictions.

Generation Funerals operations manager Penny Levi said it is such a difficult time for families.

“The hardest thing for families is the restrictions on touch,” Ms Penny said.

“Not being able to provide support through a hug or a handshake is something we are finding really difficult as the touch mechanism is a big support pillar.

“We want people to know that what they are feeling is still OK and natural and there is nothing wrong with grieving.”

Funeral services are now reduced to 10 mourners plus the funeral staff, which can be another challenge for families according to Ms Penny.

“Funerals are a very personal event in a family’s life and having to reduce the service to 10 mourners is really difficult,” Ms Penny said.

“Not having those support networks from family and friends has been tough for a number of families.

“With the service we have had to set up chairs spaced apart in the chapel and ensure a high level of sanitation at all times.”

Although live streaming was not new to Generation Funerals, Ms Penny said it was another option for families.

“We have been both publicly and privately live streaming funerals for about 18 months now,” Ms Penny said.

“In the past we have had public screenings where anyone can view the service as well as private streams for just the family.

“With everything that is going on at the moment we have decided to include the live streaming package as a free optional extra.”

Kingaroy Church of Christ pastor Andy Dunkin said it was making the whole process tougher on families.

“Funerals are all about having friends and families come together, offer support and share stories,” Mr Dunkin said.

“It’s a way to say goodbye and unfortunately that process has become difficult for a lot of people.

“I completely understand trying to stop the spread and social distancing, however I really feel for those families who have to go through this right now.”

South Burnett

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