Funerals in the time of COVID-19, a difficult time made even more challenging with coronavirus restrictions

ELGIN (WLS) -- Two months ago the funeral for a Vietnam veteran drew more than 600 mourners to an Elgin funeral home.

Today there is seating for no more than ten people.

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Funeral director Daniel Symonds measures the distance between seats, making sure they are six feet apart, following the strict rules in the coronavirus age.

It is far from ideal.

"When you're here for a visitation you want to touch that person you love and be close," Symonds said. Human contact is, of course, discouraged these days.

Symonds is set up to send funerals on video to those who can't be present.

Rather than limit the funeral for Kevin Crevoiserat to ten people, his sister, Mary, opted to postpone services. She was expecting in excess of 100 for her 58-year-old brother who died February 4.

"We had a conference call with my two brothers who are out of state and decided it needed to be delayed," said Crevoiserat.

The Chicago Archdiocese has issued guidelines for funerals in line with the state mandates, limiting the number of mourners to ten and stressing social distancing.
"If someone wants to have a funeral, we are allowing it, but limiting it to make sure we are cooperating with authorities," said Bishop Ron Hicks.

It's a hardship on families at, what is usually, a very difficult time.

Funeral directors have said that most families seem to be understanding so far.

Leak and Sons Funeral home holds an average of 50 funerals a week. Spencer Leak Jr. says people have been getting creative.

"They're asking 'can have ten people in now and they go out and ten more come in,'" Leak said.

The families that have postponed funeral here are rescheduling for at least a month from now. Funeral directors say there is no time limit. With embalming techniques now funerals can be delayed indefinitely.
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