Covid-19 has disrupted lives and businesses, the way we hold funeral services is also different during this period of time.
Nowadays, it is common scene to see funerals at Void Decks lined with red and white tapes barricading the perimeter of the wake venue. With signs pointing to a single entry and exit point. Right there, a reception table with contact tracing forms and QR code, contactless thermometer, hand sanitizers, and a notice on the new regulations to look out for and follow can be seen. Tables and chairs arrangements are being reduced, and distance in between them are widened from the usual to maintain social distancing. Alternate chairs are marked with a “X” with masking tape to remind people to sit apart.
In obituaries, we are starting to see commonly at the end of the paragraph “Dear relatives and friends, due to the Covid19 situation and related government advisories, we would like to hold the wake and funeral privately.” It is a stark contrast to how funerals used to be, especially for big families or people who were very popular and well-liked while they were alive.
There has been a lot of attention on how funerals are being conducted in view of the Covid19 “circuit breaker” situation currently.
Physical presence of the number of people at any one time is limited to a max of 10, family members included. Masks has to be worn at all times, and temperature has to be recorded the moment they arrive. Grieving family members has to go upstairs and wait at home and take turns to come down when the number of pax exceeds 10, to make way for guests or other family members.
Wakes are kept short to 3 days compared to the usual 5 nowadays, with more opting for no wake at all, choosing direct cremation after a simple ritual being held at the crematorium with immediate family members.
During prayer sessions, social distancing has to be observed, even between family members. Rituals are being kept only to the essentials. Funeral processions, including the foot procession is limited to 10 pax. Live bands, traditional drums formations, hearse escorts are not allowed as they are not considered essentials. Attendance at crematoriums and cemeteries are limited to 10 as well. Those that were unable to attend has to witness the cremation service via our free private FB live session.
Funerals nowadays are a more toned down affair compared to pre-Covid19 period.
Covid19 has robbed grieving families a proper chance to grieve and get support from relatives and friends. People close to the deceased or their family members are not able to stay at the wake venues for Long. Chatting with family members and reminiscing about old memories of the past with the deceased or family members helps grieving families to grieve, especially being physically present to offer comfort and support. However with this situation, it is quite difficult to do due to the constant disruption of attendance limit. Some are even uncertain if they are able to attend or chose not to attend physically in light of fearing contracting the virus themselves.
Not only that, grieving families are always on their toes, always on alert making sure they, their family members and guests, are not breaching the rules and regulations, and handling guests who wants to come, managing their appointment time slots, on top of already being very pre-occupied with the funeral arrangements. With so many things on their mind and hands, they do not have even a proper window for them to properly mourn their loss. Effectively, most only have about 1-1.5 days to work out everything, with the first day busy setting up the funeral; second half day, evening prayers and services; and the final day, half a day before The Coffin moves out for cremation or burial.
And some deaths are sudden and unexpected………
Needless to say, many families that lose their loved ones during this period will be very disappointed because they can’t really do everything they would have wanted to. But there is no choice. We are in this together, and every grieving family is experiencing the same thing. Most people are very understanding and come to terms with the fact pretty easily.
But what about after the funeral?
You see, during the funeral period, the grieving family still gets constant care and attention from each other, and from service providers like us. And their mind will be too pre-occupied with so many things to handle, so many regulations to ensure and follow, they hardly even have time to rest, let alone sit down and grieve properly with each other.
But after the funeral, when everyone goes back to their own homes, carry on with their own lives, those especially affected with the loss will need even more attention and care. But for this circuit breaker, even families are not able to visit each other. That withdrawal syndrome after the funeral, the quietness in the house, and especially that emptiness in the their hearts takes time to heal, and needless to say, the regrets of not being able to do everything they wanted for the funeral. And the issue here is, death is a one time thing. For funerals, there is never a “next time”. Some grieving families will definitely live with certain regrets of not being able to do everything they wanted for the funeral. Especially for family members, relatives and friends, who couldn’t send off the deceased personally, all the way to the cremation or burial service. Now even for ash collection and ashes settlement rituals are restricting the number of pax.
During this period, let us be more compassionate, and show our care to people who have lost their loved ones. A minor change in a person is inevitable and this usually can be seen especially after they lose their loved ones, their soul mates, their life partners. They may be dealing with depression, which we may not be aware of.
Being a society as a whole, let us be more understanding and caring not only to the people around us but also to the people whom we may not know. Let us all be with them and overcome the difficult times together.
As for this Covid-19 period, let us stand united, stay home, stay safe, and be more compassionate as a society as a whole. Cause one day, everything will be back to normal after we win this war with Covid-19. This too shall pass.
For generations, Embrace Funeral Services has been assisting with the essential arrangements of funeral services in Singapore. Our team of undertakers pride themselves on their experience and professionalism in being the one stop funeral service provider with honest and affordable rates.
At Embrace Funeral Services, we work closely with family members to carry out funeral services in Singapore. Grieve and process your emotions appropriately without stress as we assist with funeral preparations. In addition, we offer bereavement support to friends and family who requires it.
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