Funeral home offers families new service during pandemic

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Corson With the threat of the Coronavirus and possible spread, our funerals have changed.

Miller Funeral Home offers extra service during pandemic

Joel Vipond has been a funeral director for decades and he's only ever worked at one place, Miller Funeral home. He is also the assistant manager. "This whole virus thing has thrown a whole new dimension into it, with the limiting of attendance of people who can be here, the limiting in the numbers of people who can come in to make arrangements for a funeral service, so it is something brand new to me and I think it is for most people in our profession," said Vipond.

Funeral Director and managing partner Tim Wingen says the number of those allowed to come is affected by government mandate. "Just basically the family, a funeral with their clergy or celebrant of their choice, and the only thing we're really not going to do is have gatherings with lunches or refreshments," said Wingen.

The CDC continues to approve the process of cremation and burial. Family can comfort each other but there still is a need for closure with others.

"Since these families don't have an opportunity to have a huge public gathering that many individuals would probably have, we're going to offer at no expense to the family an additional memorial service at a later date when all of this virus subsides," said Wingen.

Funeral directors say they are confident in the safety for anyone preparing the body, as each embalming follows a strict protocol, including wearing protective gear, every time.

And yes, the question has been asked about the safety of those attending a funeral. "Once the embalming has taken place, there is very minimal danger to the public," said Vipond. "The real threat is the contact between you and I and closeness of someone that's sneezing, coughing or has the virus," said Wingen.

For those wanting to comfort the grieving who cannot attend a funeral, send your messages, flowers or tokens, knowing the funeral directors are walking along with those grieving while shouldering the extra weight of an uncertain time.

"When they walk out of here at the end of the day, that they feel like we are doing the very best we can under some very difficult circumstances," said Vipond.