OGR members continue to meet and share best practices, ask questions and offer support during coronavirus. During OGR’s online round table, members discuss challenges and relevant tips for facing the COVID-19 pandemic. A summary of last week’s discussion is below.

Funerals During a Pandemic:

  • Parade of Life Idea: OGR member Singleton Funeral Home in Glen Burnie, MD is hosting a parade of life as a way to say goodbye for a recent family. This will be a combination of a “drive through funeral” and procession to the cemetery.

Boost Your Immune System

During the round table, different members shared ideas for how they’re taking care of themselves in addition to their families.

  • Keep Moving: One funeral director shared, “you do not have to row or ride a bike but you can do lots of walking. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. Then we can take care of our families. Funeral directors over 50, 55 can be too sedentary. It is important to keep moving. Cut the grass, walk the dog, just be active.”
  • Eating Healthier: Diet has changed for those on the call during the pandemic. Instead of eating out, where food is loaded with sodium and salt, some are finding they are eating better because they are eating at home.

Family Follow-Up after COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

  • “Hello to Heaven” Booth: NPR’s This American Life aired an episode about a phone booth in Japan that attracts thousands of people who lost loved ones in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. The phone is not connected to anything, yet people still visit in order to “talk” to their loved ones. As the coronavirus has kept people from being at the bedside of their dying loved one and saying “good-bye”, perhaps this is an idea that you can use. Consider putting a special phone inside your funeral home or a phone booth outside on your property in a quiet area and invite people to use it to say “hello” to those they love.
  • Memorial Service Follow-Up Letter Template: After the coronavirus restrictions have lifted, do you have a plan in place for contacting families about scheduling a memorial service? Use OGR’s templated letter and consider sending it to those you have served during COVID-19. Feel free to make it your own. Download now.
  • Continue Communicating Value of Funerals to Families: Consider repurposing OGR’s included with membership Do Funerals Matter? presentation and offering it is as a webinar to groups who are still hosting meetings over a virtual platform like Zoom.

Finally…

Be sure to check out the COVID-19 page on the OGR website for additional resources: www.ogr.org/covid19 OGR is creating new programs and marketing materials to help your funeral home during the coronavirus pandemic.

OGR’s next round table will be held in early June. This discussion will be open to OGR members only. Learn more and register at www.ogr.org/covid19#Virtual. If you’ve already signed up, no need to register again. It’s the same link each week.


By Jessica S. Riddlesperger, CMP
Assistant Executive Director