Virtual and drive-through funeral services could become the ‘new normal’

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Beginning in March, businesses began shuttering their doors, however, essential businesses remained open.

Among the shortlist of those places remaining open, funeral homes were deemed essential by the government. However, they were working with strict guidelines.

“As a funeral director, you meet people during their hardest times of their lives, when they’ve lost someone and the last thing you want to do is have to tell someone you have to make a list of 10 people to invite to the funeral,” Emily Castille, said.

During phase one, gatherings were limited to ten people. This included gatherings for funerals.

Castille is a third-generation funeral director and the vice president of Martin & Castille Funeral Home. She said this is one of most difficult challenges they’ve had to overcome, but they’ve been able to adapt to the guidelines.

“If you’d have told me when I first started being a funeral director that we would be doing drive-through funerals, I probably would have laughed,” she said.

However, as times have changed, drive-through and virtual funeral services could become the “new normal”, she explained. The virtual services are becoming more popular as they prevent family and friends from traveling for the funeral. It limits their exposure to the virus.

“Sometimes the person who is in charge has been exposed, and maybe even positive,” she said. “We’re able to still get things done through technology in order to have the funeral service.

Castille explains these are ways the family can grieve and honor their loved one, yet, allow the community and friends to give their condolences.


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