MAHANOY CITY, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Social distancing is creating a challenge for people who want to honor a loved one who has recently passed away during this pandemic. As difficult as it is to view a loved one who has passed, funeral director Dave Truskowsky says it can be an essential part of the grieving process.
“If you look at the five stages of grief, you kind of need that punch in the face, oh my God, my so and so has passed,” Dave Truskowsky, funeral director of Louis D. Truskowsky Funeral Home & Crematory Inc. said.
Truskowsky hasn’t held a funeral since the outbreak of the coronavirus, but he knows if he has to arrange one it would be a delicate process to accommodate a large crowd.
Although the state board of funeral directors has not said how funerals should be conducted during this time, Truskowsky has thought about ways to make it work if need be.
“Maybe span it out throughout the day, with locked doors so that if people needed to come and say goodbye they could do it but I would limit the access to three or four people at a time,” said Truskowsky.
He says if they end up with a person who died from the coronavirus, they would not treat the body any differently. At this point he is more worried about making sure the grieving are not exposed or at risk of spreading COVID-19.
“We serve the living so that we can to help them get through grieving process and to care for the deceased,” said Truskowsky.
Loved ones can also choose to do a direct cremation, and hold a service at a later date, when it is safe again to gather in groups.
The Funeral Directors Association has informed funeral directors to limit services to about 10 people.
The Pennsylvania Department of State to Funeral Homes says funerals are not impacted by the governor’s order to shut down physical operations.