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Funeral Homes adapting to coronavirus emergency with “virtual funerals”


HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – Losing a loved one is hard and something people hope they never have to do. 18 News Reporter Matt Paddock tells us how one local funeral home is adapting due to the coronavirus emergency.

Doing things online has become a normality, whether it be shopping, gaming or even watching movies. But, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, the way we send loved ones to their final resting place may soon change as well.

Kevin Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Funeral Homes says, “It’s a big concern with everyone in my industry… Across the state, people are scrambling to see what the best way we can provide services for families and their loved ones”.

Now, lawmakers are warning citizens to keep social gatherings to 10 people or fewer making businesses adapt and try new things.

Sullivan says, “The hardest thing is you want that emotional connection, that hug, that face to face and now that that’s taken away from all of us, we’re trying to figure out the best way to do that whether it be a live stream or video tribute online”.

Sullivan says while they haven’t utilized the technology yet, they will now stream the funerals live from their website through the loved one’s page.

As social gatherings are being regulated due to the pandemic, it’s virtual funerals like the ones here at Sullivan that are helping people say goodbye to loved ones.

“I think going forward that’s what we’re going to have to do, immediate family is one thing but for friends and families that can’t make it or have known the loved one for years and want to see say goodbye this is an option, saying goodbye is part of the healing process”.

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