Is It A Good Idea To Postpone The Funeral During This Time?

With a moratorium on public gatherings currently in effect, people are struggling to figure out how best to handle funerals for loved ones who have passed away. One option frequently floated around is to postpone funerals until things go back to normal, but here are two things you need to consider before deciding this is the best way to go.

You Need to Store the Body

When a person dies, the body starts decomposing almost immediately, which is why there's typically a rush to get it into cold storage or embalmed as quickly as possible. Both of these inhibit the decay process so the deceased person remains presentable for the funeral.

However, embalming only last so long (usually about a week), and the refrigeration used to temporarily house dead bodies is typically not appropriate for long-term storage. Thus, if you want to postpone the funeral for several weeks or months, you'll need to make arrangements to have the body stored someplace for as long as required.

Be aware, though, that you will have to pay storage fees, which can be high (up to $100 per day). Additionally, with the pandemic going on, space may be limited as funeral homes, morgues, and other facilities struggle to keep up with the increased pace at which people are passing away. It may be possible to store the body in your home, but there are typically a host of legal hoops you'll have to jump through to get approved for that, taking up time you might not have.

If you expect it will be a long time before you'll actually have a funeral for the deceased person, it may be best to have the individual cremated. You won't have to worry about the issues associated with storing a dead body and you can have the funeral when it's more convenient for you and your family.

Delay May Worsen Grief

Funerals aren't for the deceased; they're for the living. Funerals provide surviving friends and family a way to say goodbye to their loved one and help them process their grief. Thus, when a deceased person's sendoff is delayed for longer than expected, those left behind may experience greater mental and emotional fallout as a result.

Even though the pandemic prevents people from gathering together in person for their loved one's funeral, there are other ways to let people pay their last respects. One option is to livestream the funeral, which lets people participate in the proceedings without risking their own health or breaking the law. Another option is to hold a virtual memorial service using meeting software like Zoom or Skype. Although it's not quite the same as being there in person, being able to talk to others who loved the deceased can be quite comforting.

For more suggestions on how to handle your loved one's funeral during this trying time, contact a local funeral home.