Virus effects basic burial traditions

Local funeral director laments the change

By Josh Resnek

Nowhere has the coronavirus caused a major disruption in ancient societal rituals been greater than when it comes to burying the dead.

Local funeral directors in Everett have all come to terms with the recommendations and directives of the state and federal government to conduct funerals while limiting the chance for the spread of the virus.

This has caused major concerns among the grieving as well as for those in charge of meting out the last rites following the death of a loved one.

“We are limited to only ten people at once coming to our funeral home, and that’s it,” said well known and highly respected funeral director Fred Cafasso.

Cafasso said the limitation on the number of those wanting to grieve together coming at such a difficult time makes the experience all the more difficult.

“Everyone wants a decent funeral for their loved ones. But that’s just not possible right now and this is a shame,” he added.

He said recent funerals afforded him the right to conduct graveside services only – and that even then – state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing had to be exactly maintained.

“All of us conducting burials must abide by the rules, always,” he added. “We do exactly that.”

He said those beset by death in their families at this time are all desirous of a proper burial with all the attendant things that are normally done.

Wakes, by necessity, have been dispensed with.

He said those who have suffered a loss recently, and who are grieving, have all expressed the same sentiment.

“Remorse is what those who have lost a loved one but cannot have a large gathering of mourners come to pay their respects at the graveside, are feeling, “ Cafasso said.

Whether burying a loved one or opting for cremation, the virus epidemic has turned the world upside down.

This is most evident after the death of a loved one and only ten family members and or friends are allowed to gather in the same place to send them off properly.

Until the epidemic subsides, this is the way burials will be conducted for the near future.

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