Everything is different. The expression of grief and condolence has changed during the current spread of coronavirus deaths.
Many people will send sympathy cards, floral arrangements. They will drop off food at the doorstep of families who have suffered a death. But they do not gather at funerals. They do not share meals at the church. There are no churches packed with mourners. Grieving is different since coronavirus became a cloud over normal life.
There are mostly private funerals now. And Greg Norman who operates Norman Funeral Home says people are missing the large luncheons along with discussions where they share memories.
‘’There’s the good will and tenderness come along with a hotdish,’’ he said. “Then, too, young people are missing the meaning of gatherings.
“We don’t want to forget our loved ones. There’s good will and tenderness that comes out in these ways,” Norman said. “The hotdish is important.”
Along with other funeral directors, he speaks of the way technology becomes important. Phil and Mark Amundson who operate the Amundson Funeral Home said people send cards and floral arrangements. Or they drop off food at the doorstep of friends who are grieving.
And at churches as well as funeral homes, the age of technology is enriching. Services sometimes are recorded and copied on a website.
“Many churches,” they say, “offer to livestream through a Facebook page. It has worked well.”
And people are reaching out for services and sharing of grief through Zoom.
“It is amazing how many people go to a website online for services,” said Patrick Askew of the Bilden-Askew funeral home in Hatton, N.D.
He said quite a few people call the funeral home and ask how they can take food to a grieving home.
“They want to make sure there are meals for grieving families,” he said. “Some people make donations to charity and send cards to the bereaved families.’’
At the Amundson Funeral Home, Phil Amundson said when the pandemic began, there was the feeling it would be going on for a few months. “We didn’t imagine that it would continue through the year. I think people understand that now.’’
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 701-772-1055.