Delayed funerals swamp mortuaries
When Brad Yazel looks at his board of upcoming funeral services, he sees an approaching explosion in the next few months.
Yazel-Megli Funeral Home in Marion has 22 pending services, all likely to happen before September, co-owner Yazel said Tuesday.
“That’s a lot,” he said. “For Marion that’s 25% of our entire business for the year.”
Jared Jost of Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro is unsure how much his business might swing.
He has noticed a great amount of gratitude from clients while dealing with COVID-19 concerns.
“It’s made people appreciate being able to gather for a public service,” he said. “I think we took it for granted before this. In the grieving process, that’s an important part of it — having that public time and offering condolences to grieving family members.”
Baker Funeral Home, which has a location in Peabody, could not be reached for comment.
Not being able to receive closure can make a discernible difference for family members and even can affect health.
Maintaining family members’ well-being as top priority is a quality that permeates between all funeral homes, Yazel said.
“That’s the reason we still get up at 2 o’clock in the morning, put a suit on, and go pick somebody up,” he said. “If we didn’t really care about that, we wouldn’t do it. Every one of us is deeply concerned that we’re doing the right thing for folks. I know Jared shares that, too.”
Though coming weeks look packed, that doesn’t mean services are picking up steam yet.
“It’s slow,” Jost said. “Families and the public are cautious. That’s the best word to use in opening back up.”
Jost sees local churches as a precedent for opening up because funeral homes work closely with churches.
“Hopefully we’ll continue to open back up and this will all get behind us,” Jost said.
Whether Jost is busier with services during the week or on weekends goes in spurts.
Yazel, on the other hand, saw a gradual increase in the number of weekend funerals. He expects that to continue as daily life gets back to normal, particularly with how many services are pending.
“We’re in the business to serve,” he said. “We’ll make our weekend happen when we can make it happen. Right now with all the other businesses having trouble and struggling, we’re going to take care of them whenever they want.”